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Creating new values of agricultural service---COA assists by establishing Farmland Bank to provide farmland lease service


The Minister of the Council of Agriculture, Mr. Chia-ch’uan Su, officially made public a plan to assist farmers’ associations nationwide to provide farmland lease service by establishing Farmland Bank and announced that it will officially go into operation in mid-July. The Farmland Bank website, which is to be constructed by COA, will provide the latest information offered by farmers’ associations concerning cases of farmland for rent or for sales as well as consigned match-making services for individual cases of farmland. It will also provide information related to transaction know-how, statutes concerning the utilization of farmland and loans to be taken out for running agricultural business. The front end of information platform will be designed in accordance with the ideas of being user-friendly, being up-to-the-minute in transmitting information, and of abundance in its knowledge, following-up of its services and confidentiality of its information. It will be coordinated with the rear end management in order to ensure its quality and efficiency.

Normally speaking, most large-scale rehousing agencies would not take over farmland brokerage because of its low price and limited market when compared with other real estate brokering businesses like those of construction lands and houses. Farmland’s brokering business remains conducted by traditional go-betweens as of old in the villages. COA has finished outlining the entire project of constructing Farmland Bank in accordance with Article 22 Paragraph I of Agricultural Development Statutes. It is about to push for its accomplishment aggressively and will review the set-aside policy of farmland in order to create a triple-win benefit for farmers, farmers’ associations and the government.

COA goes further on to explain that Farmland Bank will put its emphasis on vitalization of the utilization of farmland, on availing to its advantage the relationship of mutual trust that comes from years of assistance to farmers’ associations on local level. Its emphasis will also be put on constructing a platform for coordinated inquiry and match-making services so that those intent on going into agricultural business, no matter it be the tenants and/or land owners, buyers and/or sellers of farmland, will be given an easy access to farmland through the revelation of information and services offered by farmers’ associations. On the other hand, farmers’ associations will increase their revenue by charging commissions from offering brokering services and use their increased revenue to facilitate their services. Its ultimate goal is to make the best use of the arable lands, and preserve a favorable agricultural production environment. In the future, the government is expected to make plans in helping farmers’ associations to assist in farmland use adjustment and management.

Minister Su indicated that Taiwan’s land actually used to grow crops covers 833,000 hectares and there are 302 farmers’ associations. If each farmers’ association cuts an average five-hectare deal in closing farmland brokerage cases per year, the sum total will amount to 1,500 hectares. Given that the transaction price of a hectare of farmland ranges from 5 million to 10 million NT dollars and 3 percent of the transaction price will go to service charge, the annual revenue coming from service charge for brokering the sales or renting of farmland will amount to somewhere between 225 million and 500 million NT dollars in total. Accordingly, Minister Su encourages farmers’ associations nationwide to get on the go and, under the guidance of farmers’ association’s professionals, with the goal of upgrading the quality of the environment and services, and with the incentives of COA’s aiding, awards and promotion campaign, our cumulative efforts will add up to an enormous service and immense sales opportunities, and will thereby create new values of agricultural services to facilitate the services of farmers’ associations.

In fact, COA stressed that, in order to enable farmers’ associations to play a pivotal role in Farmland Bank, as far as service staff and environmental quality are concerned, apart from installing infrastructure like special personnel and special line services, it goes so far as to provide an on-line search in cooperation with farmers’ associations and a cozy space to have a talk in. As a result, the focus of COA’s counseling efforts in the present stage lies in making plans to construct exemplar farmers’ associations, which are to become the model operation units of Farmland Bank. Besides, as far as the skills in farmland management, brokerage regulations and personnel training are concerned, COA has launched a consecutive series of training courses, including holding seminars, which are attended by directors-general of farmers’ associations, and which give explanations about the idea of constructing Farmland Bank and the business they should take care of in cooperation, giving orientation on farmland management and basic brokerage regulations in various districts, and giving on-the-machine training of the operation of the Information System. COA is also in the process of laying down the rules concerning counseling and rewarding and plans to conduct training sessions for real estate brokers. All these efforts make it possible for farmers’ associations to be endowed with a complete idea to serve and professional skills to operate so that a service network of farmers’ associations in an extended-family style will be constructed.