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Returning Home¡XA New Form of Lifestyle
As indicated by the results of an Internet survey recently conducted by a worldwide agricultural information network, as many as 73% of the interviewees once had the dream of "having one's own land to be close to land and enjoy the pastures." Among them, about a quarter of them often think of such a dream, indicating the fact that a great mass of urban populace embrace would care to live the in country. The wander Vogel promotion and gardener projects facilitated by the Council of Agriculture havegarnered tremendous feedback from the community, and there is now another rising wave of young people who are returning to their hometown to work on agriculture, which coincides perfectly with the results of the survey.
The survey was conducted from 27th of December last year to 10th January, 2007 on the Internet, and a total of 2622 internet users have take part in the survey island-wide.
Besides, as many 52% of the interviewees indicates that they do, from time to time, have the dream "to be liberated from their current job, and move to the country," while 17% of the interviewees oftentimes harbor this notion.
Of those net surfers who took part in the survey, 71.8% of them have not any connection to agriculture business, and while 91.4% of them expressed that the primary source of household income has nothing to do with agricultural production. If they are not directly connected with agricultural business, from where do they learn about it? Interviewees' impression about farmer is formed 78% from TV programming and reports from print media, 38% from network information, and 32% from participation in relevant promotion events.
As matter fact, after the Council of Agriculture has forth the project of wander Vogel camp, the number of applicant is lot more than expected. Take wander Vogel camp for example, it was planned to have 840 places in 2006, but it came out that 1,500 individuals registered for the camp. As for the gardener camp, it was first planned there would be 40 places, at the end 720 individuals register for it. Besides, the result of satisfaction survey conducted by the Department of Business Management of Cheng Chi University as commissioned by council to research on the motif of participant indicates that 44% of them who take part in the camp feel like to out with agriculture, while 29% of them are doing preparing as they think of career-shift.
Why is it that there are so many people who like to embrace the country and to get closed to land? As indicated by this network survey of worldwide agricultural information, the primary reason that there are more and more people who return home and work in agriculture is they long to be back with nature and to experience country life, with a headcount of 74% among the interviewees. The other reason is that they tire of urban life, with a headcount of 53% among the interviewees, while 45% of them return home to find a spiritual residence.
For the sign of young people who long to return to land, Siou Kun-Bin, professor of the Department of Agricultural Promotion of National Taiwan University, indicates that between the 70s and the 80s there was a wave of young people who returned to their homeland and shared recognition of urban life and culture, returned home mainly to bring new ideas and skills to agricultural production, with its focus placed on economic aspect. While the homecoming trend after the 90s until now, these young people return to hometown with the idea in critique against urban life, and would like to re-construct the value of core life in the country, which is a re-construction of life model. Therefore, they are motivated to created favorable livelihood industry, and the crux of the issue is mobility, not merely an issue of agricultural production. On the contrary, it is shifted to culture and leisure industry, which is very much different from the homecoming trend as that of the 70s.
Siou believes that the populace of new generation young people until now who return home is comparatively after 90s remains minimal, and the percentage of agriculture population in the broader sense would hardly amount to 1% in the last decade. Only with diversified development of our community, it is for sure that agricultural development should be heading towards diversified facade, and it would become a trend that many people take part in agriculture not merely from the perspective of industrial and commercial interest but more from that of cultural and leisure.
Chen Mei-Fang, professor of National Taidong University, who researches the phenomena of young people returning to the rural life to work in agriculture, indicates that it has become a novel lifestyle choice and a matter of aesthetics to return home and work in agriculture as viewed from the influence toward land and environment.
As such, a lot of white collar and young people have been tempted to join the army, and upon their return home, to help to waken up the consciousness and culture of the community, forming a new host of agriculture values. She redoubled her sentiment saying that since the young are good at making use of marketing skills to create higher added value agricultural products, it has rendered agriculture as more dignified work. As a result, such positive impact should help attract more people to return to the country, stimulating a trend.
Jhang Shu-Jun, associate professor of National Chung Hsin University, points out that because of a serious talent drain, people from the country in the past previous cultural endowments of the agricultural village are found lost, rendering the result that agricultural culture and spirit can no longer be passed on. The return of young people to the country can help bring in the knowledge and creativity they have learned to produce novel agricultural culture and shape up novel outlook of agricultural environment. As of such, it would not only help previous residents of the agricultural village to pass on agricultural culture, but place greater focus on re-creating lively culture of country, very much an enhancement to agriculture of Taiwan.