Presidents Reports

President’s Report 2011

Tuesday 22 March 2011, Taipei

The number of branches that are members of the Asian Pacific Federation now is 16. Membership of member branches stands at 1644. Adding the members of intending member branches would bring the total to 1951. Member branches are Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Republic, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Fiji and Papua New Guinea branches have indicated they will join the federation this year. Iran has done the same but has not made any time commitment that I know of. I don’t know what the intention of the Nepal branch is. There is interest in creating a new branch in the Solomon Islands.

Membership peaked in 2009 but has declined since then, for reasons unknown. Branch membership, losses and gains can be seen in the accompanying tables. Even with considerable membership loss in some countries, there are still approximately 25% more members than in 2003.

I have not made any branch visits nor attended any overseas seminars or conferences since the last Board meeting in Tours, other than attending my own New Zealand branch conference. 2010 was the 50th anniversary year for the NZWPSA Branch. A very well attended and successful conference was held, with our president Bob Pym as a special guest.

The conference venue was changed at the last minute because of the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake. During the conference a special award was made to one of our farmer members. He and his wife left their own farm in the hands of their staff and travelled about 400km to Christchurch to come to the aid of a damaged layer farm, possibly a competitor.

The Fiji branch flagged their intention to organise a regional Poultry Seminar in May this year, but as time goes by, unless something happens very soon, it seems increasingly unlikely. I have contacted their secretary by email to hopefully get the ball rolling.

Development of the APF website is ongoing but at a fairly slow pace. Funding is the big issue, because it is difficult to attract sponsorship or advertising if there is nothing to show what is being funded. I have asked the developer to produce sufficient material so that we can approach a major sponsor. Because we must be careful not to encroach on funding already going to WPSA, we have decided to target a bank, the ANZ Bank, an Australasian bank with expansion designs on Asia and the Pacific.

Now that the new WPSA constitution has been approved, it is probably time for the APF to look at its constitution to see whether any change should be made, perhaps to realign it with the new WPSA constitution. I will be raising this at our federation meeting during the APPC.

I am still working with the Solomon Islands poultry industry, and I hope to be able to deliver a new branch for that country during this year.

The working group, WG1 on Small Scale Family Poultry Farming continues and has been present at most major WPSA conferences over the last few years through symposia, workshops or meetings of one kind or another. There is a problem finding the right people to take on roles of officers in the WG. Something that I have been thinking about lately is whether we should merge WG1 with INFPD, already a global working group of WPSA. INFPD has a largely African focus, whereas WG1 is Asian Pacific. A merger would create a truly global group, which I think would be beneficial all round. It could raise the profile of this important poultry sector.

The working group, WG2 on Waterfowl is in its formative stages. An inaugural meeting was held during the 4th World Waterfowl Conference in Kerala, India in November 2009. The next steps for WG2 must be taken at a WG2 meeting during this APPC in Taipei. Key to its success is finding the right people to take on leadership roles. A decision on the venue for the next World Waterfowl Conference will be made at the WG2 meeting. So far one branch, Vietnam, has expressed interest in bidding for that right.

The APF General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 22 March. Selection of venue for the next APPC, the 10th, will require a vote, So far two branches are bidding for hosting rights, Singapore and Korea. It is also an election year. Senior Vice President is Professor Bao-Ji Chen from National Taiwan University in Taipei and Junior Vice President is Dr Desianto Utomo from Charoen Pokphand Indonesia in Jakarta.

AM Gibbins


Asian Pacific Federation

World’s Poultry Science Association

20-23 March 2011, Taipei, Taiwan

President’s Report 2012

Tuesday 7 August 2012, Salvador

The Asian Pacific Federation has had a large increase in membership of 341 members. This is a 17.48% increase from 2011 to 2012. It mostly comes from a very big 184% increase in membership in Bangladesh. Congratulations to the Bangladesh team for this. There has also been a significant increase in China of 38 members. Furthermore there has been steady growth in federation membership over the last 10 years as can be seen from the graph.

It is interesting that these big increases are occurring in branches with growing and developing poultry industries whereas in the well developed industries we often seeing decreasing trends in membership or at best stable membership. Perhaps this is an indicator for the WPSA in general as to where its focus should move towards. This is not to say that the focus should be solely on the developing countries, but it does perhaps give some idea of where the greatest need for WPSA might lie.

One comment on the very small branches is that it appears to be difficult for them to sustain interest and therefore membership in these situations. Unless there is committed leadership to drive the branch and keep it alive it does appear they fade. There are cultural issues here as well, where the way of “doing business” is more relaxed than what we experience in more developed countries. That is not to say that it is a bad thing, just different, but it can impact on the sustainability of branches. All of this signals the need for a better understanding of how things work in these places and perhaps a need for a more “nurturing” approach from WPSA. This would mean extra cost, but may well be worth it in the long run.

There are still some branches whose status as far as membership of APF goes, is unknown, for example, Iran. This branch seems to “be on the books” but has not fronted up with any affiliation fees in the last 10 years.

The financial position of the APF is reasonably healthy. Affiliation fees dribble in and costs are kept to a bare minimum. Our bank balance as at 23 July 2012 was the equivalent of USD 11,000.

Activity in the field of Small Scale Family Poultry Farming carries on with articles continuing to be published in the journal and papers being presented at major conferences. However this activity has not really been lead by the Working Group. Rather it has been put together by individuals. The future of WG1 is in my mind uncertain, particularly with the existence of the Global Working Group INFPD. I did mention in my last report to the board that we should look at how the APF WG1 and INFPD can work more closely together. Even a merger of the two might be contemplated.

If the status quo is to be retained, then WG1 needs some life breathed into it. This working group has not had its own regular official events: conferences, smaller seminars or workshops. I think it is time to put this on the agenda for WG1. But to develop these events is difficult when the economic climate in many of the “target industries” is weak and the very people who we want to attend events cannot because of lack of funds for travel and accommodation. We need to search for a different way of doing things. That is a main reason for developing our website.

I would like to see WG1 and INFPD become strong voices for small scale poultry development. At the moment we are all, in a sense shuffling papers and research results, advice etc around amongst ourselves. What impact is this having on the subsistence farmer in the villages of Asia and Africa - probably not a lot. The real issue is to get the decision makers in governments to understand the potential that small scale poultry farming has to help in the alleviation of poverty. So I want to discuss with our federation and also with INFPD the possibility of preparing a document outlining this potential and taking it to the decision makers. A workshop where government officials are invited would be more use than a “more of the same” conference. There is much to work on.

Our Working Group 2 is growing in strength. We now have a keen chairman of this group, Dr Jeng-Fang Huang from Taiwan. He is working with the Vietnam branch on planning for the next World Waterfowl Conference, the 5th, which is to be held in Hanoi in the later part of 2013. I am hopeful that having WG2 take on the responsibility with the host branch for organising this important conference, spin off conferences, seminars and workshops will develop. As they say in cheese making, good things take time!

WG3 on Ratites has been resurrected by the enthusiasm of Dr Irek Malecki from Perth in Australia. He was unsuccessful in getting time at this WPC for a solid presence on the programme for ratites, so is targeting the next APPC in Korea for that. Ratite production throughout the world has gone through ups and downs, but my understanding is that is stable now with small but steady growth.

The Federation’s next major conference is the 5th World Waterfowl Conference which is to be held 25 – 27 October 2013. The Vietnam branch is hosting and organising this under the auspices of our WG2 on Waterfowl. The first announcement has been made with a call for papers. The deadline for submitted papers is 15 March 2013. Hanoi is a most interesting city, and being in the north of Vietnam is in close proximity to Southern China, a region where duck production is intense. This conference needs plenty of publicity throughout the world and will provide a good opportunity for prospective sponsoring firms to become involved because this area of the world is on the verge of modernisation and intensification in their waterfowl industries.

The 10th Asian Pacific Poultry Conference is being held on Jeju Island off the coast of South Korea. Jeju is very accessible with many flights daily. It contains a World Heritage park and will provide a top rate venue and accommodation. Timing for 10APPC has not yet been decided, but it will be in the latter half of 2014, probably late October or early November. Thus there will not be a clash with the European Federation Conference which is in the first half of that year. Being in the heart of Asia, we are expecting a large attendance. As well the comments about opportunities for prospective sponsoring firms made about the World Waterfowl Conference apply to this conference, perhaps more so.

I mentioned in my last report that the APF should revisit its constitution to see if changes are needed to bring it more in line with the new WPSA constitution. Unfortunately I have not yet had the opportunity to do this, but it is still on the “to do list”.

Things are a bit the same for our website development. Perhaps I was a little too ambitious with my first discussions with our web developer, trying to get too complex from the outset. We have now chosen to develop an initial simpler web portal to at least get the site up and running, and once this is operating properly, follow up with the introduction of the more complex operations that were planned for in the first place. Progress has been slow, but I am very confident that it will happen.

Since the meeting in Taipei I have undertaken a visit to the Solomon Islands to encourage them with their desire to create a new branch of WPSA. In this coming year I would like to be a little more active in branch development and try to bring some of the Asian Pacific branches that are not yet members of APF into the fold. There are also some member branches that I believe need encouragement and revitalisation - a visit from the President is always very helpful.

Thanks to you all for your warm friendship which I enjoy every time we meet.

AM Gibbins


(August 2012)