National ag congress promotes secure, prosperous, sustainable farming

  • Date: 2018-09-13
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Following a report Thursday by the Council of Agriculture (COA) on the results of the Sixth National Agricultural Congress, Premier Lai Ching-te instructed the COA to move quickly to incorporate the conclusions reached at the congress into concrete, viable programs and policy measures that will help achieve food safety, agricultural security, sustainable agriculture, rewarding farming careers and prosperous farming communities.

As part of preparatory efforts, the COA took advantage of a variety of channels to gather public opinion from a broad range of sources beginning in April of this year, recording more than 10,000 instances of participation. Delegates to the full meeting of the congress on September 7 and 8 focused on safety, sustainability, future opportunities and the welfare of farmers themselves in approving a final list of 73 concrete conclusions and 27 key points. Given the passage of time since the fifth national congress was held in 2003, a key task of this year’s effort was to update the nation’s agricultural development strategy to confront such emergent issues as global climate change, the challenges of international trade liberalization, public demands for greater food safety, and a shrinking agricultural labor force.

Agriculture underlies the foundations of Taiwan, said Premier Lai, and is tied inseparably to such basic concerns as food security, agricultural development, environmental conservation, and the preservation of traditional farming lifestyles. Motivated by the considerable importance President Tsai Ing-wen places on Taiwan’s agricultural development, the COA introduced the New Agriculture Innovation Promotion Program, which has already achieved a number of successes. President Tsai now looks forward to the Executive Yuan instituting a pension system for agricultural workers in order to provide greater security for farmers in retirement, and has instructed the COA to proceed with necessary planning.