Minister of the Council of Agriculture (COA), Dr. Chen, Bao-ji, pointed out in his opening remarks that the Outstanding Agricultural Professionals Award is the agricultural equivalent of the "Oscar Award" for excellence in the fields of research and promotion while attending this year's award ceremony. Established in 1986, this year is the award's 25th installment. The list of 37 candidates was submitted by recommendation from institutions, academic establishments, and organizations. After a 2-stage scrupulous review of all the relevant documents, the panel of judges composed of experts, specialists, and scholars finally concurred on bestowing the honor to 11 outstanding agricultural professionals. This year's winners come from crop, fishery and farming fields, and which represent the top elite that excel in agricultural technical R&D and application as well as industrial promotion. These individuals were credited with being the driving force behind the upgrade of agricultural industry. Dr. Chen reaffirmed the contribution of these professionals and hoped that they would continue to bring positive impact and influence in their respective fields of expertise, which will in turn increase the competitiveness of the overall agricultural development.
The COA stated that Taiwan's agriculture is presently facing competition from globalization; therefore, the direction and the vision of the industry ought to move towards international, technological, and market development. This means to make a gradual transition from a mainly domestic-market-oriented agriculture toward internationalized product marketing. It is also imperative to continue strengthening technological development in order to maintain favorable advantages for our agricultural know-how. Furthermore, thorough understanding of the demand variation in domestic and international markets as well as our products' advantages are necessary to generate bigger markets and profits.
Last but not least, Minister Chen encouraged these awarded elites to continue their efforts in leading the development of the industry and inseminate their knowledge all over the country so it may grow strong for future generation to savor the fruit. He also urged them to become the role models for the industry and write a new chapter for agriculture.