The opening ceremony of 2018 Taoyuan Agriculture Expo (TAE) took place on April 4, and Council of Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien said in his opening remark that the TAE is a testament to the joint efforts between Taoyuan City Government and Council of Agriculture (COA), showcasing a prescient development of agriculture and the ideal image of rural community life. The TAE features crucial new agricultural policies, such as smart tech agriculture, characteristic industries, environmental sustainability, and multicultural fashionable village, among others. This proves to be an excellent opportunity for Taiwan to demonstrate its soft power of agricultural technology and culture through the cooperation between central and local governments as well as the participation of young farmers and diverse ethnic groups.
The COA highlighted six major show areas of the Expo featuring different themes aiming to entertain visitors with different facets of new agriculture.
- SmarTech Area: In the Meteorology Showcase, technology is applied to different aspects of agriculture. The analytical feedback from meteorological remote sensing data enabled farmers to prepare for extreme weather in advance. The Green Ark exhibition reveals the application of cutting-edge technology on smart agriculture, circular agriculture and green energy, contributing to industrial innovation and adjusting current agricultural structure to confront the future challenge.
- Characteristic Industry Area: The TAE pioneered the introduction of themed activity tours such as community markets and art performances to add value to rural villages. Together with the artistic creations from young artists, the guided marketing experience is expected to boost regional revitalization. The Tea House experience is an excellent example, where infinite possibilities of added value to sixth industrialization of agriculture are fully demonstrated through the sensory experience of observing, touching, smelling, tasting, and tea ceremony.
- Environmental Sustainability Area: The farming experience on site integrated the 3 concepts of production, life, and ecology. Visitors are encouraged to learn about aquaponics through home gardening; therefore participate in the development of friendly community environment which demonstrates mutual assistance and learning. The food and agriculture hands-on experience is designed to incite a change of mindset in consumers, thus helping the general public to recognize the importance of environmental sustainability in new agriculture.
- Multiculturalism Area: The area features rural characteristics as the brand and sells rural experience and tourism service such as the Vipt Agriculture Museum which showcases current agricultural situations in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines as well as new immigrant's gastronomic culture. Experience traditional Hakka craftsmanship at the Taoyuan Hakka Collection. Visit Indigenous Housing for various edible wild plants and share its culinary culture. The Matsu Story House brings back memories of military front-line. All of the aforementioned cultural experiences are potential branding elements. In short, the TAE reversed the stereotype of rural village and presented diversified rural fashion to the public.
This edition of TAE saw the installation of the Innovative Agricultural Machinery Pavilion which is divided into 5 major themes, namely "Special Crops and Tea", "Vegetables, Flowers and Seedlings", "Paddy Rice and Food Grains", "Fruit Trees", and "Greenhouses, Facilities and Equipment". The pavilion exhibits outstanding innovative agricultural machineries, facilities, and control equipment developed by Taiwan which are suitable for export to Southeast Asia. Simultaneously the pavilion set up the Smart Environment Control Greenhouse Area and Outstanding Export Product Area. Moreover, an exclusive Business Reception Area was created to offer a place for Southbound Policy country government officials, agricultural machinery buyers and relevant industry chain representatives to conduct business meetings with Taiwanese suppliers. The ultimate goal is to export Taiwan’s smart, labor-saving machineries and automated equipment to countries covered by the New Southbound Policy while upholding industrial innovation and meet domestic demand for agricultural machinery.
The TAE has a duration of 40 days. It features 6 major areas and 25 themed pavilions to illustrate Taoyuan’s historical legacy, community lifestyle, and rural culture. The organizers welcome all to pay a visit and experience the New Agriculture Policy, future agricultural trend and rural regeneration 2.0 in person, and show your support to agriculture with action so that everyone can enjoy fruitful rural achievement altogether.