Taiwan hosted the Multicountry Observational Study Mission on Rural Regeneration for More Inclusive Development from September 14th to 18th, 2015, organized by the Council of Agriculture (COA) in conjunction with the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) and the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI). The event’s program includes keynote speeches and field visits. A total of 42 experts from 18 countries are participating in the mission, including those from Japan, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Laos, Fiji, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Nepal and the host country, Taiwan. The goal of the said event is to stimulate the development and regeneration of rural economies in the Asia-Pacific region as well as to establish cooperative partnerships for the development of rural villages between countries in the Asia-Pacific region through experience sharing and discussion.
Taiwan’s achievement in rural regeneration under international spotlight
The COA stated that in order to counter challenges such as aging rural population, abandoned farm lands, low agro-product prices, insufficient basic infrastructure, and decreasing environmental quality, it has set into action the Rural Regeneration Program since 2010 by complying with the “From the foundation up, project orientation, community self-governance, balance between culture and environment” government policy. In an attempt to find a breakthrough amidst harsh reality while recapturing the energy and value of rural economies, the COA has obtained considerable achievement and successful community cases so far. In recent years these achievements have attracted visits requested by many countries which all wish to learn from Taiwan. Therefore, the APO has especially requested that Taiwan hosted this particular event in order to share the key to its success in the planning and the implementation of the program with member nations. To further expand the effects of this event, members of the APAARI were also invited to attend this conference so that more momentum would be accumulated for the rural regeneration in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Six communities, six rural regeneration stories
The COA explained that in addition to inviting domestic and foreign experts to deliver keynote speeches regarding the planning, concept promotion, and implementation methodologies, the organizers have also arranged for the participants to visit outstanding cases of rural regeneration including NanPu Community in BeiPu Township, ZhaoMen Community in XinPu Township, JieTouFen Community in YuanShan Township, NeiCheng Community in YuanShan Township, GongRong Community in SanZhi District, and Green Bamboo Community in WuGu District. There is a heartwarming and touching story behind the successful regeneration of each one of these communities. The objective of these visits is to let participants gain a deeper understanding of the various steps in rural regeneration such as the return of the younger generation to their hometowns, the creation of new value for local industry, the reaching of community consensus, the establishment of community brand and image, the building of low-carbon communities and environmentally friendly agriculture. Not only did the event help to advocate Taiwan’s achievement in promoting rural regeneration, but also created opportunities for international cooperation as well as elevated regional agriculture’s productivity.
The COA further stated that this particular event was implemented by the National 4-H Club Association, and was sponsored by China Productivity Center and National Training Institute for Farmers' Organizations. They hope to enhance Taiwan’s participation in international agricultural affairs and achieve sustainable development for Taiwan’s agriculture and rural villages by actively organizing international events.