The Council of Agriculture (COA) held the 2017 Taiwan-Japan Rural Innovation Exchange and Strategy Forum on Nov. 15 at its International Conference Hall, featuring issues such as young farmers practicing agriculture, sixth industrialization, regional integration, among others. The organizers invited two keynote speakers, Hota Shogakko Principal Katsuya Otsuka and Miyazaki Prefecture's Aya 100 Project founder Kajiyama Tsuyoshi, to share their experiences with Taiwan. The COA hoped to attract more young talents who would lead Taiwan's agriculture towards internationalization and sustainability by lending their skills and expertise to rural villages.
Two major themes and a stellar cast set to expand a new horizon for rural villages
The organizers invited Taiwanese and Japanese experts to share their experiences promoting regional revitalization and sixth industrialization focusing on the topic "regional revitalization and business model for sustainable management". Hota Shogakko Principal Katsuya Otsuka talked about regional revitalization and development trend from Japan's perspective, while Dr. Chuang Ching-ta from Taipei University of Marine Technology discussed about the transformation that Taiwan’s agriculture must engage in while facing challenge ahead. The speakers and the audience brainstormed for innovative agricultural solutions.
Another topic focused on "industry and value generated by young talents returning to rural villages". The founder of the Aya 100 Project Kajiyama Tsuyoshi, and Awi Sapu the Director of Nanfeng Community Development Association who is also the recipient of the 2017 Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award, shared their experiences on the challenges that young people returning to rural village encountered and how to overcome those obstacles while bringing the community together.
The forum also invited the following experts: MOA Taiwan CEO Tsukiashi Yosinobu, Miyazaki Prefecture Industry Promotion Institute consultant Takamine Yumi, National Formosa University Associate Professor Lin Chun-nan, Taichung Community Development Alliance Director Chang Yi-sheng, Agricultural Technology Research Institute’s Dr. Chen Jie-ting, and Chin-king Tea Manufacture Manager Teng Hsien-tzu. These experts exchanged viewpoints and ideas about current agricultural policies and practice in Taiwan and Japan from different perspectives.
The key to rural development lies on transformation
As a countermeasure to the global competition Taiwan is facing, many industries are relying on innovation and transformation. In order to achieve industrial transformation, the COA proposed the Innovative New Agriculture Program, with the hopes of establishing a new agricultural model and agricultural safety system, as well as enhancing agricultural marketing capability. Agriculture is the foundation of production in Taiwan, which is also a key element for Taiwan to enter a new era. The sixth industrialization is indispensable in driving regional development forward. Whether it is rural regeneration or regional revitalization, local small-scale farmers play a crucial role in supply chain. Furthermore, they must adopt mutual-beneficial business models that blend in local characteristics to integrate up-mid-down streams technology and resources or work in cooperation in order to increase new agricultural value.
COA Deputy Minister Li Tui-chih delivered opening speech at the forum.
Hota Shogakko Principal Katsuya Otsuka shared the experiences of Japan.