Board Director, Taiwan Flowers Development Association
Rice is the most important staple food in Taiwan. In recent years, about 260,000 hectares of paddy field was cultivated to rice annually with an output of about 1.2 million tons of brown rice. The Agriculture and Food Agency has executed various measures to support the sustainable development of the rice industry, which include planned production, breeding new varieties, improving cultivation techniques, advocating appropriate chemical use for pests control, establishing specialized rice production and marketing zones, encouraging self-quality control system, and promoting the CAS rice certification system. The purposes are to build up a sound production and management system, and to significantly raise the quality and competitiveness of rice in local and international markets.
To strengthen the domestic marketing of rice, the authorities assist local farmers’ associations to establish their own brands and adopt diversified marketing strategies. The government also carries on educational programs introducing the historical and traditional culture of rice to the public in order to promote local consumption. By constantly securing information concerning the production and marketing of rice, promoting the rice grading system, and inspecting the quality and hygienic status in the retail markets, the goals of safety food storage and consumer right protection have been well achieved.
Paddy land utilization adjustment
The paddy land utilization adjustment program and sequential plans were launched in 1977 following the admittance of Taiwan to WTO. The purpose was to reform the production structure of rice, upland crops and sugarcane which are crops purchased at guaranteed prices by the government. Measures of crop rotation and fallow have been advocated to improve soil fertility and to avoid overproduction problems of certain crops. The land is well maintained for potential to cultivate food crops so that proper food supply can be assured in case of need.
In order to secure adequate food supply and maintain proper food prices, the COA started to promote the Small Landlord and Large Tenant Policy in 2009. This project encourages land owners to rent their fallow lands to “large tenants” for the production of rice, forage corn, forage, silage corn or crops of organic farming. The major advantage of the policy is to expand the operation scale and improve the management efficiency.
Specialized rice production and marketing zones
To overcome the impacts of the imported rice on domestic rice industry, the Agriculture and Food Agency employs measures of market segmentation to accentuate the characteristics and quality of local produce and brands. Specialized rice production and marketing zones are also launched by combining the farmers, seedling suppliers, and millers together to enlarge the management scale and simultaneously lower the production cost.
The operators of the specialized rice production zones are advised to apply for certificates of CAS Premium Agricultural Produce and the adoption of traceability system for the production records. The pesticide residues are strictly inspected and the whole production and marketing processes are monitored to guarantee the quality and safety of the products. In addition, rice produced in the specialized zones is not subjected to purchase for public storage by the government. Their produce is graded by variety and quality and sold at prices set by the operators to ensure the farmers’ profit.
(Data Source: Agriculture and Food Agency)
Date submitted: December 24, 2013
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: December 31, 2013