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The World Vegetable Center celebrates 50 years of R&D

From November 2 to 4, the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) celebrated its golden jubilee with a series of events at its headquarters in Shanhua, Taiwan.

This started with Vegetable Science Day on Thursday, November 2, with some 150 attendees. Then, on Friday, November 3, some 400 special guests celebrated the achievements of the Center over five decades. There were excellencies, ambassadors, and honorable representatives from governments, from donor organizations, from the private seed sector and other partners, and leading vegetable researchers from across the globe. After presentations and celebrations, ten people jointly cut ribbons to inaugurate the new state-of-the-art research facilities.

This was followed on Friday afternoon by the Vegetable Future’s Roundtable. Building on the conclusions from the previous day’s deliberations, this went into further depth on “where should we go?” regarding future vegetable research and development.

On Saturday, November 4, the World Vegetable Center threw open its doors to the general public (Open Day), with 10,000 people expected. But by the end of the afternoon, it was estimated that 15,000 had attended. They wondered at the range of vegetables in the research fields and demonstration gardens, the many booths showcasing the Center’s work in plant breeding, pathology, entomology, and much more, and also talking to scientists from all the regions of the world where the Center is heavily involved. There were also many craft stalls, food stalls, and much fun for children with quizzes, puzzles and painting.

But events did not stop there! And after a day of reflection, there was a return to serious business, with the WorldVeg Global R&D Week from November 6 to 9. Here, more than 100 scientists from across the regions and from headquarters, with more than 30 countries represented, spent four intense days debating and discussing all aspects of the Center’s work.

It should also be noted that even before these celebrations started, much had already been done in the preceding days. During the 64th Board meeting, 17 distinguished members considered the Center’s current standing and the results of the recent external review and its recommendations and set a roadmap for the development of a new institutional strategy. This started with risk management training on Sunday, October 29, and continued until Wednesday, November 1. So, this was effectively a full fortnight.


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