Executive Yuan Passes Draft Agriculture Basic Law to Show Importance Attached to Agriculture
The Executive Yuan approved the draft of Agriculture Basic Law in its June 2 meeting. The Council of Agriculture (COA) said agriculture is the foundation for building a nation, so it is necessary to reflect the position and functions of agriculture while global climate changes have exacerbated, food security has attracted more attention and the Ministry of Agriculture is scheduled to be established in 2012.
The country should also enact laws which can serve as medium- and long-term policy guidelines to demonstrate that the government attaches much importance to agriculture and medium- and long-term policy planning as well as highlights agriculture’s multi-function value. All people should jointly maintain and support agriculture, give farmers’ their due dignity, and raise food self-sufficiency rate and strengthen agricultural competitiveness while activating rural villages, taking care of farmers and safeguarding agriculture’s ecological environment because they share the benefits of agricultural development. When the Agriculture Basic Law is enacted, the COA will promote agricultural policies following the new policy direction to lay a solid foundation for medium- and long-term agricultural development.
Orientation of Agriculture Basic Law – A Policy Bill Serving as Guidelines and Principles
The Council pointed out that the government drafted the Agriculture Basic Law to cover inter-ministerial responsibilities (such as diet education, agricultural product safety and agricultural education), work out medium- and long-term agricultural policy directions, and serve as an important foundation for policy promotion and enactment of agriculture related laws and regulations. The draft with a total of 34 articles is divided into six chapters: general principles, food security, agricultural competitiveness, rural villages and farmers, agricultural ecology and environment, and supplementary provisions.
Intention and Aim – Affirming Agriculture’s Multi-function Value and Giving Farmers Due Dignity
COA Minister Chen Wu-hsiung said the draft emphasizes agriculture’s multi-function value which is shared by all people. Since the market mechanism inhibits full feedback, all people should jointly maintain and support agriculture and give farmers their due dignity. And in response to economic and trade liberalization and climate changes, the government has to build highly competitive quality agriculture, enhance agriculture’s anti-stress capability, develop low energy-consuming, low carbon-emitting agricultural, fishery and animal husbandry business model, and safeguard sustainable agricultural development to transform Taiwan agriculture not only into a localized lifestyle industry supported by all people but also an outstanding global industry.
Legislation Process – Gathering Momentum for Reforms with Forward-looking Planning and Feasibility of Implementation
The COA noted that the draft includes the spirit of excellent agriculture, small landlords and big tenant-farmers policy implementation, adjusting strategy in response to climate changes and rejuvenation of rural villages with reference to the Agriculture Basic Law of both Japan and South Korea as well as similar drafts proposed by various legislators and opinions expressed in public hearings sponsored by the Legislative Yuan’s Economics Committee. The Council sponsored on January 12 the National Seminar on Agriculture and Farmland to discuss medium- and long-term agricultural policy directions for food security, agricultural competitiveness, rural village and manpower activation, taking care of farmers and protecting ecological environment. And feasible proposals put forward in the seminar are included in the draft after being deliberated in inter-ministerial, local government and farmers’ group meetings and considered by chief executives of government agricultural agencies.
COA to Communicate with Legislative Yuan Caucuses for Early Legislation
The government has always attached much importance to agriculture and the COA has convened such important meetings as the Conference on Adjusting Agricultural Policies in Response to Climate Changes, National Seminar on Agriculture and Farmland, and National Conference on Food Security in the past year in response to regional economic integration and degradation of agricultural water and soil resources in Taiwan. To master the competitive niche of