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Starting from April 25, the Updated “Young Farmers Website” Provides Better and Complete Information for Start-up Farmers
In order to extend the counseling services for young farmers to the internet, the Council of Agriculture (COA) set up the “Young Farmers Website” (http://ifarmer.coa.gov.tw) on Mar. 27, 2015. The site offers a convenient one-stop integrated info-service to the users in need of agricultural business start-up information. Since its birth, the site has already received more than 780,000 visitors. With the rising popularity of mobile devices, the website underwent an overhaul on Apr. 25, 2016 by adopting the Responsive Web Design in order to best serve the web-browsing needs of mobile device users. The “Consultation Service” corner is the most popular one on the website where a team of agriculture experts has already provided answers to 361 questions and inquiries with an average response time of 2.1 workdays. According to survey, the user satisfaction rate for “Response Time” is 94.9%, whereas for “Answer Content” is 92.3%. This shows that the website proves to be an effective tool for providing people who are interested in starting up an agro-business with professional info service. The COA also offers the Agriculture Customer Service Hotline (449-9595) to further expand its services.
The COA explained that in order to assist young farmers to achieve a steady agro-business, it continued to promote the Young Farmer Counseling Program “Agriculture: A Dream Come True”. The 3rd edition of the Hundred Outstanding Young Farmer Award is currently underway. In addition to the existing industry categories such as “Agriculture and Food” and “Aquaculture”, the 2016 edition has incorporated a new category: “Livestock”. There are two divisions in the counseling program: the individual and the group counseling. As the name suggests, the individual division consists of a personalized counseling service. On the other hand, in the group division young farmers are encouraged to form business partnerships and alliances so as to strengthen entrepreneurial as well as organizational counseling. To effectively advertize the Hundred Outstanding Young Farmers Award, relevant short films can be viewed on the “Young Farmers Website” as well as on 434 electronic billboards of Farmers and Fishermen Associations nationwide. The goal is to draw in more young talents to work for the agriculture industry.
Moreover, statistics show that there are 285 cases of loan application filed by young farmers from 2015 to March 2016, totaling in NT$459.98 million. This shows that substantial assistance from the government is truly accessible to young farmers, which in turn helps their businesses to grow steadily.
The COA reiterated that it would continue to enhance the contents and services on the “Young Farmers Website” according to the development of the industry and the needs of young farmers. It would also continue to increase the data connection of inter-ministerial counseling resources such as public activation space, community cultural resources, and agricultural village revitalization among other related internet resources so that they can be made accessible to young farmers. For those who are interested in entering the industry, there is a team of experts who can provide professional answers to all kinds of agriculture related inquiries. The COA expects the new generation of farmers to forge a new era in agriculture by bringing in innovative ideas, broad vision, and infinite possibilities.