As part of the overall "five plus two" innovative industries program, in 2016 the government announced a four-year plan to promote new agriculture. Running between 2017 and 2020, the New Agriculture Innovation Promotion Program envisions a modern era of agricultural development, applying technology and innovation to increase added value and secure the income and welfare of agricultural workers, while at the same time encouraging environmentally sustainable practices and the cyclic reuse of resources. The end goal is to lay a solid foundation for Taiwan's agriculture sector and drive its transformational development toward a revolutionary new paradigm.
Three central principles
♦ Establish a new agricultural paradigm: This new approach to agriculture includes the Green Environmental Payment Program to incentivize the development of sustainable practices while at the same time supplementing agricultural incomes. The near future will also see the full-scale promotion of a crop insurance scheme to help farmers mitigate operational risks, and a pilot workers' compensation program to better protect those working in agriculture. Action has also been taken on legislation to create a pension fund to cover basic living expenses for agricultural workers after retirement.
Enhancing the competitiveness of livestock and poultry in Taiwan is also a goal; for example, traditional pork vendors are being encouraged to establish cold-chain sales models. Farmers are eligible for environmental subsidies to help expand eco-friendly agriculture, based on acreage dedicated to organic crops and related good farming practices. Additional subsidies for new farm equipment are aimed at boosting agricultural productivity. Greater use of innovative new technology and the promotion of "smart farming" are also envisioned.
♦ Construct systems to ensure food security and food safety: As one measure to guarantee food security, the program calls for the development of a diverse variety of high-quality domestically produced cereals and grains that can take the place of imports. Another goal is to improve Taiwan's food self-sufficiency by creating market demand to spur production, for example by requiring school lunch programs to use domestically produced food. Food safety strategies include point-of-origin production management and the expansion of food traceability for agricultural products.
♦ Improve agricultural marketing capabilities: Taiwan is engineering an export marketing platform for agricultural goods to increase and diversify sales channels. To raise the added value of agricultural products, an integrated service system for added processing has been established, and this will be complemented by building out and completing a nationwide cold chain for farm goods and other ag products.