Premier Lin Chuan said today that agricultural initiatives are an important policy under President Tsai Ing-wen's proposed "five plus two innovative industries" program, and will have a lasting impact on the modernization and transformation of agriculture in Taiwan. He then said he hopes that all the government agencies involved will work in concert to make these initiatives a reality.
In remarks following a Council of Agriculture (COA) briefing on the status of promotional efforts for a new agricultural paradigm, the premier also requested that the COA quickly draft the legal changes or amendments required to accelerate agricultural reforms.
In its briefing, the COA said its proposed development program will pave the way for a new era for Taiwan agriculture. That program will do away with the passive subsidies of the past, use innovation to leverage existing agricultural industry strengths, and create new agricultural models and safety systems while enhancing industry marketing capabilities.
The COA's development program proposes 10 major policies including "green payments" or paying farmers for agricultural practices that are beneficial to the land; stabilization of farmers' incomes; increasing the competitiveness of the livestock and poultry industries; promoting environmentally friendly farming practices; using agricultural resources sustainably; developing technological innovation; enhancing food security; ensuring the safety of agricultural products; diversifying domestic and external marketing channels; and increasing agriculture industry added value.
The COA also cited initial results of its new agriculture initiatives including the use of certified and traceable ingredients in school lunches that is projected to drive safe agricultural production in 4,000 hectares of land, and the ongoing promotion of biogas energy production from hog farms. Other achievements include this year's pilot project that expands green payments to 20 rural townships for first-crop rice, the promotion of reinforced greenhouse facilities and a new law promoting organic agriculture, the establishment of the Taiwan Agricultural Global Marketing Co., Ltd. in December of 2016, and the designation of 600 hectares of land for export production bases to penetrate international markets.