To prompt the transactions and boost the utilization of farm land, as well as to encourage the long-term leasing of farm land by old peasants or farmers not keen on faming, the Council of Agriculture is currently devising and implementing a
Small Landlords and Big Tenant-Farmers Project. The goal is to assist business-style management and boost competitiveness of agriculture of this project of Taiwan, by driving transformation of the agricultural industry. A total of 10 districts had been chosen for trial. The results of the trial shall serve as a reference for the further establishment of a model of the implementation of this policy.
The Council of Agriculture indicate that the changes in the global economy and industrial structure have put the Taiwanese agriculture in double jeopardises. The energy and food crisis and rising commodity prices around the world pose external threats. Meanwhile, the domestic agricultural industry cannot reach economies scale operation or enjoy the competitive advantages due to an aging farming force, small scales of farming entities and scattering of field lots. In order to encourage efficient utilization of farmland resources, improve the farm labour structure and boost the production in agriculture, the Council of Agriculture has been formulating
Small Landlords and Big Tenant-Farmers Project. A cross-function working group was established in June this year to devise a set of measures to support this policy. By establishing
Retirement System for Old Farmers,
One-off Rent Payments for Farmland to Small Landlords and
Instalment Scheme for Big Tenant-Farmers, the scheme encourages small farmland owners who are not interested in or not capable of farming to lease their land on a long term basis. It also aims to offer low-rate loans and subsidies to finance projects to establish business-style management by helping and supporting the expansion of farms for big tenant-farmers. Meanwhile, there will be training and education in the integration of production and distribution, technology R&D, branding and channel management and marketing for these big tenants. It is hoped that big tenant-farmers will be able to lower production cost with larger operation scale and management, in order to boost production efficiency and competitiveness of the whole industry.
In addition, to augment the feasibility of this policy, the Council of Agriculture started in September to gather feedback from city and county governments and inquire the interests for the trial project. A total of 10 districts were chosen for the pilot run. The purpose of this trial is to evaluate the feasibility of
Small Landlords and Big Tenant-Farmers Project and hoe to obtain a number of different modernized agriculture operation models. The result of the pilot program will serve as a reference for cross-the-board implementation in 2009. The 10 operating entities chosen for the pilot run include agriculture production and marketing groups, farmers’ associations, cooperatives and farming businesses. These 10 entities are Hou-Lung Country Farmers’ Association, Miaoli County, Shou Fong Farmers Association, Hualien County, Yijhu Farmers’ Association, Chiayi County,
Agriculture Management Group No. 1, Sanshing, Yilan County,
Agriculture Production & Marketing Group No. 2 for Anthurium Flowers, Neime County, Kaohsiung County,
Green Flower Marketing Cooperative Kaohsiung County, Taiwan Forage Product Corp. Yunlin County,
Han Kwang Fruits & Vegetables Cooperative,
Chengnan Organic Farm in Miaoli County and
Taiwan Rice Farmers’ Corporation. The trial program covers important crops, such as rice, vegetables, flowers, organic agriculture, forage corn and feed corn. To assist the 10 participating entities, the Council of Agriculture invited a team of experts from the industry, academics and government agencies to provide assistance in farmland leasing, production, marketing and management, to pursue business-style management with large-scale agriculture operation. To facilitate the pilot run of
Small Landlords and Big Tenant-Farmers Project, the Council of Agriculture organized on October 14, 2008, a workshop to promote and explain the details of the purposes, contents of implementation and relevant workflows, as well as to mark the commencement of the pilot project. An extensive series of seminars and training sessions will be organized to provide the details of the program and establish the competences required so that this project will be a success.
The Council of Agriculture emphasized that
Small Landlords and Big Tenant-Farmers Project
aims to adjust the agricultural structural. It will integrate all the available resources to assist those interested in farming to expand their operational scale to reduce their production costs. The project intends to prompt the transformation and upgrade of the agricultural industry, so as to enhance its competitiveness and ensure its sustainability.