To build a robust and revolutionary new agricultural paradigm, the government in late 2016 rolled out the New Agriculture Innovation Promotion Program. This was followed in 2018 by the launch of the first phase of the Green Environmental Payment Program (2018-2021), which offered reward mechanisms that encouraged farmers to cultivate import-substitute crops, provided direct payments or purchased rice crops at guaranteed prices, and subsidized organic and eco-friendly farming practices. These measures guided farmers toward growing crops suited for their land.
The government is now launching the second phase of the Green Environmental Payment Program (2022-2025). Under the second phase, basic rewards are automatically provided when farmland is used for farming purposes, and farmers can accumulate additional payment rewards by meeting additional agricultural targets. The program thereby safeguards the responsible use of farmland, increases the earnings of rice farmers, improves public food safety and national food security, and ensures the sustainable operation of Taiwan's agriculture industry.
■ Agri-environmental basic payments: Provide payments when agricultural crop production is maintained on non-urban land reserved for farming or animal husbandry.
■ Rewards for key crops: Encourage crop rotation from rice to import-substitute, export-oriented or local specialty crops. Increase the supply capacity of corn used for livestock feed. Direct rice farmers to either leave fields fallow or rotate to non-rice crops for at least one out of every four harvests. In areas with high competition for water resources, discourage rice planting for the first crop of each year. These measures address the challenges facing Taiwan around rice overproduction, lack of grain for fodder, and water shortages.
■ Subsidies for product traceability as well as eco-friendly and organic farming: Reward organic and eco-friendly farming practices and subsidize agricultural products certified for traceability, thereby ensuring sustainable agricultural operations.
■ Rice income insurance, starting from 2022: Guarantee rice farmers' revenue, encourage higher rice quality and lower rice farmers' dependence on public rice stock purchases.