To reverse the decline of the agricultural workers population and the aging of the farming work force, while protecting farmer welfare and interests, the government over the past four years has actively pushed four major welfare measures, namely agricultural workers health insurance, farmers occupational hazards insurance, agricultural insurance, and a farmers pension savings system. The measures will create a comprehensive socioeconomic safety net for agricultural workers, protect farmers' health, help farmers diversify business risks to better protect operations, and take care of agricultural workers in their retirement years. The objectives are to allow farmers to more fully concentrate on the work at hand, attract more young people to the agricultural profession, and inject fresh blood into Taiwan's agricultural sector.
Four major welfare measures
■ Agricultural workers health insurance: The scope of insureds has been expanded to cover every person actually engaged in farming work, including agricultural production workers who use other people's farmland by oral agreement, beekeepers not of a fixed farming type, and farmers who use public river lands to engage in agricultural work.
■ Trial run of farmers occupational hazards insurance (two phases): The first phase, beginning November 2018 and focusing on occupational injuries, expanded the scope of insureds and increased payout benefits for injuries sustained. The second phase, beginning September 2021, brought occupational diseases under the scope of farmers occupational hazards insurance to make agricultural occupational safety protection even more comprehensive.
■ Expand agricultural insurance: To help farmers diversify business risks, better protect operations and ensure steady incomes, the government in 2017 expanded a trial agricultural insurance program that offered insurance products and policies of many kinds. In 2021 the program was expanded to cover natural disasters, crop diseases, and market risks, freeing farmers from complete dependence on the vagaries of nature.
■ Establish a farmers pension savings system: In 2021 the government established individual farmer retirement savings accounts, allowing the farmer and the government to jointly contribute to the account on a monthly basis. At 65 years of age, the farmer may, depending on the principal and interest accumulated in his or her account, collect retirement payouts on a monthly basis. The retired agricultural worker will have retirement benefits just as in other professions and enjoy the guarantee of an appropriate standard of living.