The first edition of the Golden Village Award saw enthusiastic participation of 707 rural communities around the country, and after a fierce competition only 22 candidates entered the finals. The Council of Agriculture (COA) announced today (April 26) the winners and held an award ceremony in honor of the three Golden Villages, namely Sanzhi District’s Gongrong Community in New Taipei City, Beipu Township’s Nanpu Community in Hsinchu County, and Luye Township’s Yong-an Community in Taitung County. The COA stated that the competition established an example for rural villages in Taiwan and offered a link to the international village. In addition to the NT$ 500,000 cash reward, the winners are also eligible for an opportunity of in-depth learning and experience exchange with Germany's rural villages.
To set a paradigm for the future development of rural villages
President Tsai Ing-wen paid a visit to personally encourage the rural communities and to present the golden, silver, and bronze awards to the winners. In her remarks, the President stated that the Golden Village competition revealed brand-new images of rural villages in Taiwan, and the 22 finalist villages are all role models in rural development. For the past two years, the transformation and upgrading of rural villages has been the core policy of the government, which resulted in five major achievements including the expansion of qualification criteria for farmers insurance, legislation of occupational injury and disease insurance, implementation of agricultural insurance, utilization of high quality 4-labels-and-1-QR Code certified ingredients for school lunches, and environmental green subsidy. In the near future, the government will set in motion farm mechanization and smart agriculture application in order to achieve the goal of three major policies: happy farmers, safe agriculture, and prosperous villages.
COA Minister Lin Tsung-hsien praised the efforts of the rural communities and thanked the contribution of the jury and all city and county governments involved in the process. He said that during the process of the competition, Taiwan’s rural diversity and colorful cultural characteristics never ceased to amaze the jury. He further pointed out that rural villages not only serve as production bases but also present profound local cultural heritage, ecological diversity, and close link between people and land. The spirits of rural regeneration must be revived through the concept of production, life, and ecology. Lin wished that the winners would become leaders for other communities and spread their influence throughout the nation. As for the 22 finalists, they are all exemplary models of agriculture and their responsibility is to achieve the ultimate goal of new agriculture, namely rural regeneration, farmers' happiness, safety production, and prosperous villages. They would show that rural life is trendy and attractive which appeals to younger generations. Therefore, winning the award symbolizes the beginning of challenge ahead.
The convener of the jury panel, COA Deputy Minister Li Tui-chih, pointed out that rural villages must keep in mind a long-term strategy against imminent challenges such as globalization, urbanization, aging population, and climate change. Possible solutions such as strengthening the diversity and stable development of local economy, adopting environmentally friendly cultivation, facilitating operation of local organization and presenting rural resilience can all be taken into consideration. Moreover, the authorities concerned should put equal emphases on children's education and elderly care in rural areas while making effective use of limited resources and interdisciplinary integration. Therefore, accomplish autonomous self-sufficiency and alleviate the impact of aging population so as to create a brighter future for our rural villages.
Taiwan-Germany village exchange program expands new horizon for the communities
Taiwanese-German Association for Economic and Social Research chairman, Prof. Dr. Thomas Heckelei and the chairman of the jury for Germany’s world-renowned historical federal village competition Mr. Elmar Henke both attended the award ceremony. They invited the Taiwanese award winners to visit Germany and exchange their experience with their German counterparts, working together for a better future.
The Soil and Water Conservation Bureau under the COA stated that this edition put emphasis on the prospect of rural community, hoping to expand new horizons and to stimulate innovative ideas during the winners’ exchange visits to Germany, which in turn may benefit Taiwan's rural villages and open up infinite possibilities.
※Please follow the link below for photo galleries of all rural community winners: https://goo.gl/mSL9Lj