In order to understand the actual situation of young people returning to the hometown and engaged in agriculture, the Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister, Chen Bao-ji led some officials to go to the Yupu Farm in Luzhu Township of Taoyuan County on October 6 afternoon, visiting how Lin, Sheng-chih, a young farmer, has been managing so far. The other young farmers Wu, Cheng-fu, Chiou, Guan-jiun and Huang, Jiao-long also shared the experiences of how the operation of the government-assistant projects and local platforms. Praising young farmers’ positive and innovative actions, Chen is happy to see young couple farmers working together back to their hometown.
Afterwards, Chen and others went to Taoyuan County to attend the young farmers’ forum participated by around 50 young farmers from Taoyuan County. The forum was broadcasted live on the Internet, through which young farmers from other counties of the nation could leave questions online while the COA could respond immediately.
Listen to people’s opinions and offer assistance actively
The COA said that in the forum “meeting with young farmers,” Chang, Chih-sheng, Director of the COA's Department of Farmers’ Service, briefed the related selection principles of the second-time young farmers’ project. The second-time selection newly includes the aquaculture industry as well as the group teams. It aims to instruct young farmers to organize management teams under cross-border cooperation, provide them with enterprising and organizational assistances and resources, and enable them to develop individually according to their different features. The goal is to establish industrial clusters with local characteristics or endowed agricultural enterprises with competitiveness. Then Lin, Luo-sheng from the Taoyuan County Farmers’ Association stated how the association builds on exchange platforms for local young farmers, helps them in Taoyuan area organize social clubs, and supports them to cooperate together. Moreover, Chen responded to all questions raised onsite or via the Internet, asking COA’s departments who is in charge of these affairs actively won young farmers’ unanimous affirmation.
Care young farmers, encourage innovation and develop agriculture
The COA noted that after taking office, Chen listed “nurturing young farmers” as a key policy. Thus, the COA strives to integrate related resources, including a variety of assistant measures by providing professional training in farmers’ academy, agricultural loans, facility and equipment subsidies, and agricultural land banks. Furthermore, the operation of young farmers’ projects and local exchange platforms leads young farmers steadily engaged in agriculture, gradually improving agricultural manpower structure.
In 2013, the COA provided two-year project assistance to the selected 100 young farmers, helping them with a steady growth in the beginning. After that, they could continue to expand their business scale or move towards innovative and value-added development. In addition, the COA helped farmers’ associations from 15 municipal cities and counties to establish local young farmers’ exchange platforms that attract about 900 people and provide experience sharing, technical guidance, promotion of new knowledge and information service of their agricultural management.
Before the end of the seminar, Taoyuan County Young Farmers’ Club gave Chen a uniform signed by many young farmers and embroidered with two Chinese characters literally translated as “agricultural soul.” It represents persistence in agriculture and future expectation for young farmers in Taoyuan County. They hoped that the COA can keep on offering more friendly care and assistance to young farmers. Chen replied that young farmers are the seeds of Taiwan’s agricultural renaissance, as well as the new force to maintain agricultural development. In the future, young people’s innovation and devotion can change Taiwan's agricultural production structure. As today’s event is just the beginning, the COA will endeavor to work enthusiastically to assist young farmers to resolve all their problems encountered in their operations of agriculture production and provide measures that really help these young farmers.