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Two workers sort persimmons in Miaoli County. Dried persimmons are eaten as a snack or dessert and used for other culinary purposes. (Courtesy of the Tourism Bureau)10四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 132 2011/10/18 12:40:36 AM
10 Agriculture At a Glance • Quality agriculture program launched • Food safety system consolidated • Floriculture shines in the global arena A lthough mountain ranges and forested foothills occupy over half of the land, Taiwan is uniquely blessed with a variety of climatic zones, abundant rainfall and rich soil. In combina- tion with dedicated farmers and innovative technology, the island shines like an agricultural marvel. Faced with international trade liberalization and growing food safety concerns, Taiwan has devoted considerable effort to restructuring the agricultural sector and rejuvenating the rural economy to maintain its competitiveness. Taiwan has also launched a series of measures, includ- ing a farm tenant program, promotion of agritourism and safe agricul- tural products, and research initiatives for development of quality goods, to secure a market niche. Farm production, once centered on land productivity, now relies increasingly on technology to enhance quality and expand markets. Information obtained through Web-based and high-end technologies has helped farmers optimize output while protecting the environment. In 2010, through the Taipei International Flora Expo, Taiwan showed the world its advanced achievements in the flower industry while com- bining culture, technology and art to explore ecological themes and promote environmental consciousness. 13310四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 133 2011/10/18 12:40:36 AM
10 Agriculture Farmland Consolidation food safety has become a major consider- ation as well. Production and processing A series of agricultural land reforms techniques used in the supply of fruits beginning in the late 1940s entitled farmers and vegetables, livestock and fish are to land ownership over the fields they tilled, subject to greater scrutiny, as their reli- paving the way for successful agricultural ability provides a basis to further enhance development. However, the resultant small competitiveness in the global market. In scale of farm operations has, decades later, response to the changing needs of con- become an impediment to the mechaniza- sumers, the government has adopted a tion and modernization of farming tech- number of food safety measures over the niques that were required to boost efficiency. past two decades. Taiwan has about 815,462 hectares of farmland, mostly on its central and south- western coastal plains, which have long Certified Agricultural been the backbone of agricultural activity. Standards Half of these are paddy fields. The average The Certified Agricultural Standards farm size is 1.1 hectares, with less than 10 (CAS) 優良農產品證明標章 were launched percent of farms exceeding 5 hectares. The in 1989 to improve the quality of agricul- disadvantage of small-scale operations was tural products and processed foods. These magnified by Taiwan’s accession in 2002 standards cover facilities, quality control, to the World Trade Organization, when hygiene and safety for 15 food categories rapid market liberalization led to the grow- ranging from meat and rice to eggs and ing import of farm products that were more fruit juice. Manufacturing facilities that price-competitive. As a result, Taiwan’s ag- have received CAS accreditation for spe- ricultural trade deficit expanded, as imports cific items are subject to routine and ran- increased by 86 percent while exports only dom inspections. Such quality assurance grew by 31 percent between 2001 and 2010. has been welcomed by domestic consum- To enhance Taiwan’s competitiveness, ers and foreign buyers alike. Records for the government launched the Small Land- 2010 showed that 330 manufacturers had lords, Big Tenant Farmers 小地主大佃農 pro- been certified to use the CAS label on gram in May 2009 after trial implementation 6,388 products, worth US$1.42 billion in in 10 designated sites across the island. The the domestic market. four-year program encourages smallhold- ers and aged farmers to lease their land to tenant farmers, who then till adjacent pieces Good Agricultural Practices as a single farm. Incentives are offered for In 1993, the Good Agricultural Prac- the cultivation of rice, feed corn and organic tices (GAP) 吉園圃 were introduced as a crops. Initial results have been encouraging. product-safety management system for By December 2010, over 4,000 hectares of fruits and vegetables, requiring farmers to farmland had been leased out, raising the use recommended pesticides in a reason- average area cultivated by a tenant farmer to able dosage and to harvest the crop within 8.03 hectares. a defined time without unwanted residue of the pesticides. GAP is based on the Food Safety principle of stake sharing, with member- ship open only to production and market- While price and quality remain impor- ing groups. By 2010, 1,765 such groups tant factors guiding consumer decisions, farming a total area of 21,817 hectares 13410四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 134 2011/10/18 12:40:37 AM
had received GAP certification. Crop out- certify organic products. By December put for the year reached US$303 million. 2010, 1,778 farmer households and 4,034 hectares of farmland had been certified for organic cultivation. Two-thirds of the Food Traceability System organic farmland was devoted to the cul- Food safety measures were further tivation of rice and vegetables in 2010. strengthened when the Taiwan Agricul- The value of organic harvests for the year ture and Food Traceability System 臺灣農 reached US$75.85 million. 產品產銷履歷制度 was activated in 2007 as a process-safety management mechanism. It provides direct access to digital records Sectors made by participants on the cultivation, Changes in food consumption patterns food processing, delivery and sale of and competition in free-market trade are items that carry a traceability label. Con- among the major factors that are trans- sumers can access these records at several forming Taiwan’s agricultural structure. supermarkets and major sales outlets. In The focus has shifted from traditional 2010, trace codes had been issued to 1,331 farming of staple crops to production of farmers for 141 types of agricultural consumer-oriented and higher-value com- products, which generated sales revenue modities chosen for their market potential of US$123 million. and technological advantage. Organic Farming Rice Introduced in Taiwan in the late As dietary habits in Taiwan have 1980s, organic produce has become changed to include more dairy and popular in recent years, testifying to the wheat-based products, there has been a growing public awareness of its many gradual decline in rice consumption and health and environmental benefits. Initial production. In addition, rice producers concerns about crop pests and diseases are exposed to competition from imports, caused by Taiwan’s hot and humid cli- which, however, are currently under a mate have gradually been erased as farm- tariff-rate quota system. Rice still ranks ers found success with organic farming as Taiwan’s most valuable crop, with a to- practices that included new production tal yield of more than 1.45 million tonnes techniques and use of disease-resistant from 243,863 hectares of land for a pro- crop strains developed mostly by publicly duction value of US$1 billion in 2010. funded research teams. To ensure future viability and boost Taiwan’s organic farmland increased prices, researchers are refining rice cul- threefold in the decade following the in- tivation techniques and developing high- troduction of basic standards for organic quality varieties, many of which are farming in 1999. In February 2009, the already available for purchase. Quality Council of Agriculture (COA) 行政院農 has also been enhanced with the promo- 業委員會 established an accreditation and tion of CAS accreditation and the food certification system for organic foods, traceability system as well as a grading including crop, poultry and meats, under system aimed at phasing out the produc- the Agricultural Production and Certifica- tion of inferior rice. The rice farming tion Act 農產品生產及驗證管理法. Thirteen sector has been revitalized with premium organizations have been authorized to rice competitions sponsored annually by 13510四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 135 2011/10/18 12:40:37 AM
10 Agriculture Agricultural Production Profile % 60 57.24 50 44.15 44.78 40 34.26 30 28.43 26.95 24.13 20.87 20 13.47 10 5.16 0.47 0.09 0 1970 1990 2010 Crops Fishery Livestock Forestry Source: Council of Agriculture the government and improved marketing hectares and 151,600 hectares of farm- that includes packaging rice as gifts. It land, respectively. The export value has also benefited from a contract farm- of fruits and vegetables each reached ing program undertaken by Taiwanese US$136 million. enterprises to purchase all rice harvested Over the years, fruit growers have from selected fields before planting. adjusted cultivation and marketing methods to deal with increased com- petition from foreign imports. The Fruits and Vegetables government has put greater effort into Thanks to Taiwan’s climatic diver- promoting premium fruit products. Mean- sity, a vast array of fruits and vegetables while, some orchards are being trans- are grown on the island, including items formed into agritourism destinations. not normally part of a Western diet such as bitter gourd, bamboo shoots, lychee, passion fruit, wax apple, pomelo, sand Tea pear and starfruit. In 2010, 2.8 million Tea was once an important crop for tonnes of fruit and 2.7 million tonnes of both domestic consumption and export, vegetables were harvested from 200,000 but its production has dropped steadily 13610四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 136 2011/10/18 12:40:39 AM
as imports have increased. Three main different stages of tea production while varieties of tea—oolong, green and sampling a variety of tea brews. Another black—are cultivated in Taiwan. Of these, effort to promote the industry was the es- the semi-fermented oolong tea is highly tablishment of the Pinglin Tea Museum 坪 competitive in the international market, 林茶葉博物館 in 1997 in northern Taiwan. accounting for almost one-fifth of the The area around Pinglin is well-known world’s production. for its production of Baozhong 包種 tea, Although Taiwan’s cool mountain an aromatic, sweet-tasting brew that is 20 climate makes year-round cultivation to 30 percent fermented. possible, tea output has declined 13 percent over the past decade to 17,468 tonnes valued at US$202 million in Floriculture 2010. Of this amount, 11 percent was Taiwan’s climate is suited to growing exported, mainly to Japan, the United a large spectrum of flower species. With States and mainland China. Tea imports, the development of sophisticated cultiva- particularly from Vietnam, more than tion techniques, floriculture has thrived in doubled during this same period, rising recent years. In 2010, flower production to 32,392 tonnes in 2010. totaled US$417 million and the industry Tea growers have shifted their atten- netted US$149 million in exports, pri- tion to improving quality and addressing marily to Japan, the United States, South safety concerns in recent years. Many Korea and the Netherlands. have their products authenticated through Taiwan is the world’s largest exporter the traceability system and a certificate of of orchids, which represented 78 percent geographical indication issued by the In- of flower export value in 2010. The but- tellectual Property Office 智慧財產局 under terfly orchid, or Phalaenopsis, alone ac- the Ministry of Economic Affairs. counted for 55 percent of floral export, As tea drinking is an important cul- registering a year-on-year increase of 32 tural pastime in Taiwan, owners of many percent to reach US$82 million. Most tea plantations have opened their doors exports are seedlings and one out of every to tourists. Visitors to such plantations two orchid plants worldwide is grown receive guided tours and learn about the from seedlings cultured in Taiwan, as Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables in Taiwan Taiwan grows a rich variety of fruits and vegetables. In winter, sweet oranges and ju- jubes are plentiful, as are cabbages, Chinese cabbages, onions and broccoli. The hallmark produce of spring are strawberries and edamame, or vegetable soybean. Mangos are among the most popular of the island’s summer fruit, often enjoyed in com- bination with shaved ice and condensed milk. Other fruits plentiful during the summertime are pineapples, sand pears, lychees and wax apples. Watermelons also reach their peak dur- ing the summer months. In autumn, Ponkan mandarin oranges, pomelos, starfruits and grapes grace tables across the nation. Year round, Taiwan enjoys fresh greens including chayote shoots, spinach and Chinese broccoli, as well as scallions, eggplants and carrots. Bananas, guavas and papayas can also be enjoyed in any month. 13710四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 137 2011/10/18 12:40:40 AM
10 Agriculture farmers have benefited from cooperation as ecological themes and attracted more agreements allowing them to apply for than 8.96 million visitors. plant variety rights in the United States, Japan and the European Union. The government has committed Livestock US$62 million to developing the Taiwan Livestock farming in Taiwan has Orchid Plantation 臺灣蘭花生物科技園區, a grown dramatically in recent years, and 200-hectare biotech science park in Tainan has become the mainstays of the nation’s City 臺南市. Since 2005, the park has host- agricultural sector thanks to technical in- ed the annual Taiwan International Orchid novations and an increase in the demand Show 臺灣國際蘭展, one of the biggest fairs for animal-protein foods. In 2009, total of its kind in the world. The 2010 event production amounted to approximately featured exhibits from 32 countries and US$4.3 billion, accounting for 28.5 created output totaling US$173.82 million, percent of Taiwan’s total agricultural which represented a 50-percent increase production value. The three major prod- from the previous year. ucts, in order of importance, were pigs, The Taipei International Flora Ex- broilers and eggs. Growth in the industry position (TIFE) 臺北國際花卉博覽會 was remained steady in 2009, with imports held from November 2010 to April 2011. of livestock products, including meat The world’s largest flower industry trade and offal, rising to 206,351 tonnes, and show, the expo highlighted three major exports of these products increasing to concepts—the essence of horticulture, 13,354 tonnes. science and environmental technology; Over the past decade, the livestock conservation through reduction, reuse industry has undergone restructuring to and recycling; and a blend of art and cul- raise its global competitiveness through ture as part of an eco-friendly living en- strategic business alliances, enhanced vironment. Spread across an area of 91.8 disease surveillance and meat hygiene hectares, the TIFE featured 14 exhibition systems, and development of national pavilions, which were built at four differ- brand names. Farmers have worked with ent sites around Taipei to house exhibits the government to strengthen common of 59 cities from over 30 participating procurement mechanisms for stock feed countries during the event. In addition as well as to seek alternative feed ingredi- to showcasing the advanced nature of ents and formula. Taiwan’s flower industry, the TIFE fea- As part of an ongoing process to im- tured cultural and art activities as well prove health and safety standards, experts Taiwan Wins Gold, Royal Nod at Chelsea Flower Show Orchids from Taiwan won a gold medal and high praise from Queen Elizabeth II at the Chelsea Flower Show in London in May 2011, the second time Taiwan had participated in the event. This follows an outstanding debut performance in 2010 when Taiwan claimed silver. Organized by the Royal Horticultural Society, the 98-year-old Chelsea Flower Show is the United Kingdom’s premier gardening show, and perhaps the most famous gardening event in the world. More than 650 florists and horticulturalists worldwide took part in the 2011 event. Taiwan’s pavilion design this year was inspired by the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. 13810四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 138 2011/10/18 12:40:40 AM
Taiwan’s pavil- ion at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show featured 100 varieties of orchids mainly grown at the Taiwan Orchid Plantation in Tainan City. (CNA) at the COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant production was shipped abroad in 2010, Health Inspection and Quarantine 動植物 earning US$1.5 billion to account for 37 防疫檢疫局 conduct regular and random percent of total agricultural export. Big- inspections of registered slaughterhouses. eye tuna, yellow-fin tuna, skipjack, eel, squid and tilapia (a small, fast-growing food fish) contributed to half of that Fishery amount. Japan, Thailand and the United Taiwan proper has over 1,100 kilome- States were the major export destinations. ters of coastline. To the east, the world’s Aquaculture has grown steadily over second-strongest ocean current—the the past several decades. Due to Taiwan’s Kuroshio—brings abundant stocks of varied climate and advances in technol- migrating fish through Taiwan’s waters, ogy, about 120 species are cultivated in while the continental shelf on the western 46 aquacultural areas around the island. coast provides good habitats and spawn- Their economic value is highlighted by ing grounds for a wide variety of sea life. the fact that they made up 25 percent of Over the past 60 years, the landscape fishery production volume but contributed of the fishery industry has shifted from to 38 percent of the output value. With in- small-scale coastal fisheries to mostly land operations accounting for 85 percent aquaculture and deep-sea fisheries. of aquacultural production in 2010, ef- In 2010, Taiwan harvested 1.2 mil- forts have been made to expand to marine lion tonnes of fish worth US$2.8 billion. culture in the open sea in recent years. Using high-tech ultra-low-temperature Important aquacultural products in- freezing methods and transportation clude tilapia, eel, milkfish, groupers, systems that help maintain freshness oysters and clams. In grouper farming, of the catch, deep-sea fishery made up Taiwan’s artificial breeding techniques 60 percent of the production in terms have aided aquaculturists to breed eight of volume but 49 percent in terms of and mass-produce six of the nine spe- value. About half of Taiwan’s seafood cies that can currently be mass-produced 13910四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 139 2011/10/18 12:40:44 AM
10 Agriculture Fishery Production Value in 2010 Inland Culture 31.42% Deep-sea Fisheries 49.20% Marine Culture 6.27% Coastal Fisheries 4.07% Offshore Fisheries 9.04% Source: Council of Agriculture around the world. Food and Agriculture Agritourism Organization statistics for 2008 showed Taiwan as one of the world’s top grouper As Taiwan modernizes and its farmers producers, enjoying a 24-percent share in seek to diversify and maximize the use of global output volume but 64 percent in their landholdings, “leisure farms” have production value. In 2010, 7,958 tonnes of sprung up around the island to give ur- grouper valued at US$77 million was ex- banites a taste of life in the country. These ported, 71 percent more than the previous farms offer lodging, food and a host of year. Taiwan was also one of the world’s activities including fishing, craft-making largest suppliers of tilapia, exporting 39,194 and farm tours. tonnes valued at US$74 million in 2010. As of 2010, the COA had certified 246 leisure farms while also transform- Ornamental Fish Farming ing 67 recreational agricultural areas into tourist spots. Government initiatives Taiwan has developed advanced to create new festivals and farm markets, techniques for breeding and transporting together with private-sector efforts to ornamental fish as well. It has about 250 develop special tours, cuisine and agri- ornamental fish farms—mostly in south- specialty gifts, have led to growing in- ern Taiwan—producing over 300 spe- terest in agritourism. About 12 million cies, including medium- and high-priced visitors were estimated to have patron- varieties such as bloody parrot, American ized leisure farms in 2010, pushing and African cichlids. With improved industry output to US$224 million. packaging technologies, live fish can sur- Plans are afoot to further expand this vive transportation for up to 72 hours and sector through facility improvements and aquaculturists are able to deliver 70 to rural regeneration. The Tian Mama 田媽 80 different species in a single shipment. 媽 program has encouraged rural women While about 34 percent of exports were to start their own restaurants and shops shipped to the United States in 2010, or- featuring foods and gifts made from lo- namental fish farmers are also trying to cal farm resources. Premium agricultural tap into the European market. products such as rice, bamboo, wine and 14010四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 140 2011/10/18 12:40:45 AM
tea are being promoted with the aim of for nurturing lisianthus seedlings were increasing sales to US$13.8 million by introduced to flower growers. 2012 (see “New Initiatives” section). The COA granted 107 plant variety rights in 2010, including 96 for flowers. Technological Innovations About half of the new floral varieties were Phalaenopsis or their hybrids Dori- taenopsis, which are expected to be a hit Research and Development in foreign markets. The public sector, led Taiwan plays a leading role in agri- by the COA’s research institutes and na- cultural technology development and, tional universities, has played a key role through its many agricultural missions in promoting the seedling industry, as worldwide, contributes to the betterment demonstrated by its 16-percent share of of life in developing nations. This was plant variety rights earned in 2010. made possible with ongoing investment Meanwhile, research teams estab- in agricultural research by both the public lished by the COA are working on four- and private sectors. year projects launched in 2009 to develop The COA has 16 research institutes new technologies and explore potential tasked with the development of innova- marketing channels in 10 areas of the tive technologies in different domains: agricultural sector: floriculture, tropical crops, livestock, fishery, forestry, animal fruits, rice, plant nursery, livestock and health and plant protection. The institutes fowl breeding, fish breeding, ornamental have made considerable contribution to fish, organic produce, animal vaccines Taiwan’s agricultural success over the and optimal energy utilization with less years through transfer of technology to greenhouse gas emission. the private sector. In 2010, they reported Recognizing the private sector’s im- 129 cases of agricultural technology portant role in the development and com- transfer, for which royalty payments of mercialization of agricultural products, the about US$2 million were collected. COA implemented a five-year program in These included disease-resistant va- 2009 aimed at promoting academia-industry rieties of muskmelon and waxy corn that cooperation in agricultural biotechnology require less use of pesticides, as well as research that would eventually increase lychees that rely on late maturity to obtain the output value of the sector by 50 per- better prices after the peak season. En- cent in 2013. It offers annual funding of ergy conservation techniques using deep US$302,600, for up to three years, to each ocean water to create a cool environment of five or more projects. COA to be Upgraded to Ministry The Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture is the competent authority on crop, forestry, fishery, animal husbandry and food affairs in Taiwan. As part of government restructuring, the COA will be upgraded to a ministry in 2012. Forestry affairs as well as the conservation of soil and water will be moved under the jurisdiction of the newly established Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. In tandem with the establishment of the Ministry of Agriculture in 2012, the COA is scheduled to complete a draft Agriculture Basic Act 農業基 本法 that will serve as the overall legal framework for laws and acts pertaining to the ROC’s agricultural development. 14110四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 141 2011/10/18 12:40:46 AM
10 Agriculture Application of Information (QADP) 精緻農業健康卓越方案 to further restructure the farming sector to meet Technology market and trade demand. The four-year Since its launch in 2004, Taiwan’s program, which is part of a government satellite FORMOSAT-2 福爾摩沙衛星二號 plan to upgrade six key emerging indus- has been sending back images of the na- tries, calls for an investment of NT$24.2 tion’s terrestrial and marine environment billion (US$732 million) aimed at three for land usage analysis and agricultural major objectives: to raise agricultural planning, among other applications (see safety standards, develop key agricultural Chapter 9, “Science and Technology”). technologies and promote agritourism. The data thus collected was incorporated into the Taiwan Agriculture Land Infor- Raising Safety Standards mation Service 臺灣農地資訊服務網 to help the government in land planning. The Taiwan’s crop management system— system has facilitated the development of comprising GAP, food traceability and precision farming since it was opened to organic farming—currently covers 3 per- public access in 2006. Farmers are able cent of the farmland. Under the QADP, to assess farmland availability and crop food safety certification will be expanded suitability using the system’s comprehen- to cover 50,000 hectares, or 6 percent of sive information on such factors as soil cultivable land by 2012. properties, cropping suitability, irrigation Moreover, the CAS accreditation facilities, land use zoning and feasibility system for farm products and processed of farmland consolidation. foods will be extended to milk and beef Government projects on precision products. Promotional efforts aim to in- farming—of garlic, oranges and jujubes— crease the market value of CAS-labeled are also conducted through field surveys us- products by about 25 percent to US$1.6 ing the global positioning system to increase billion in 2012. the accuracy of data collected for crop pro- duction management and marketing. Developing Key Technologies To meet the diverse needs of agricultural Building on its success in agricultural workers, the COA has established a mobile technology, Taiwan is focusing its efforts information platform that delivers timely on biotechnological research, orchid cul- notifications about plant disease warnings tivation, grouper farming, ornamental fish and natural disaster subsidies. The farming production, growth of plant seedlings, sector has also become increasingly reli- and livestock and poultry breeding. The ant on real-time access to market changes QADP targets an increase of agricultural as well as an online service established in technology output by about 60 percent to 2009 to provide distance consultation on US$1 billion between 2008 and 2012. agricultural techniques. To speed up the development of these technologies, the Pingtung Agricultural Bio- New Initiatives technology Park (PABP) 屏東農業生物科技園 區 is doubling its occupant capacity to 120 companies. Two public manufacturing facili- Quality Agriculture ties were opened in July 2010, one of which Development Program was a customized cGMP (current Good In 2009, the COA launched the Qual- Manufacturing Practices) plant specializing ity Agriculture Development Program in animal vaccine. The establishment of the 14210四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 142 2011/10/18 12:40:46 AM
A school of colorful koi splash at feeding time on Sing Chang Koi Farm in Yunlin County. With improved packaging techniques, ornamental fish farmers are trying to tap into the European market. Center for Export and Research of Aquacul- development. The rural environment has ture 水族研發出口中心 by PABP for ornamen- been undergoing a face-lift with 2010 en- tal fish is set to be completed in early 2012. actment of the Rural Regeneration Act 農 村再生條例, which allows residents to pro- Promoting Agritourism pose community revitalization initiatives Viewing agritourism as a means to based on local characteristics, natural ecol- maximize the competitiveness of the do- ogy and cultural resources. A budget set mestic agricultural industry, the QADP at US$4.5 billion has been allocated over aims to foster further development of in- a 10-year period for the improvement of depth tours and premium products to meet 4,000 farming and fishing villages. the growing demand in Taiwan for healthy As of April 2011, about 64 communi- living and ecological conservation. The ties around Taiwan had successfully carried QADP also targets establishment of three out regeneration projects, re-energizing 1,000-hectare lowland forest recreational local industry, conserving the landscape, areas, four berthing areas for yachts and preserving local culture and improving liv- two demonstration recreational fishing ports ing conditions. Rural incubation programs to increase availability of a greater selection were widely welcomed, as 70,542 residents of nature-based activities. It also encourages from 1,435 communities participated in farmers to tap into local resources to de- workshops on discovering local resources velop premium agricultural products and and upgrading agricultural practices in theme tours centering on healthy lifestyles, preparation for future challenges. special cuisine, educational hands-on expe- rience or just relaxation. Agricultural Finance The agricultural finance system com- Rural Regeneration prises the Agricultural Bank of Taiwan 全 Taiwan’s evolution beyond an agrarian- 國農業金庫, which was established in 2005, based economy has been accompanied by and the credit departments of farmers’ and a widening gap between rural and urban fishermen’s associations. These institutions 14310四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 143 2011/10/18 12:40:52 AM
10 Agriculture 18 Agricultural Items Tariff-free under ECFA As part of the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) 海 峽兩岸經濟合作架構協議 signed in June 2010, Taiwan grants tariff reductions on 267 products imported from mainland China, while the mainland side offers tariff cuts for 539 items from Taiwan, including 18 agricultural and fisheries items that are tariff-free. This list of tariff-free items includes Oncidium and other orchid cut flowers, golden needle mushroom, bananas, oranges, lemons, Hami melons, pitayas (fire dragon fruit), tea, grouper, Pacific saury, milkfish, albacore, big-eye tuna, yellow-fin tuna and soft-shelled turtle eggs. Before the ECFA was signed, these items were subject to an average tariff of 13.3 per- cent entering mainland China. Official statistics indicate the preferential treatment will save Taiwan products US$2.23 million in export tariffs annually (based on 2009 figures) while helping to double the volume of such exports to the mainland. are supervised by the COA’s Bureau of At the end of 2010, the balance of Agricultural Finance 農業金融局, which is deposits at the credit departments of the also responsible for planning agricultural farmers’ and fishermen’s associations loans. For agricultural workers without was NT$1.5 trillion (US$47.41 bil- sufficient collateral to acquire necessary lion), while the balance of loans reached working capital, the Agricultural Credit nearly NT$743 billion (US$23.48 bil- Guarantee Fund 農業信用保證基金 serves lion). The non-performing loan ratio was to reduce risks for financial institutions. 3.15 percent. • Council of Agriculture: http://www.coa.gov.tw Related • Easy Agritourism: http://ezgo.coa.gov.tw Websites • Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park: http://www.pabp.gov.tw • Taiwan Orchid Plantation : http://top.tainan.gov.tw • Safe Agricultural Industry Web Portal (Chinese only): http://agsafe.coa.gov.tw • Taiwan Agriculture and Food Traceability System (Chinese only): http://taft.coa.gov.tw • Taiwan Agriculture Land Information Service (Chinese only): http://talis.coa.gov.tw/asso 14410四校OK (spelling)(indexed).indd 144 2011/10/18 12:40:53 AM