The 2nd edition of the Outstanding Recreational Agricultural Area (RAA) Award ceremony was held on July 9 by the Council of Agriculture (COA). COA Minister Chen Chi-chung presided over the ceremony and commended the contributions of recreational agriculture areas to Sixth Industrialization. A total of 38 entries with their own distinctive features were bestowed this honor. According to the COA, the number of tourists that had visited rural villages in Taiwan was 27.6 million in 2018, which generated a revenue of NT$ 10.8 billion. Minister Chen also invited everyone to visit these RAAs for a unique rural experience.
An important benchmark for Agricultural Sixth Industrialization and collective prosperity
The COA pointed out that there are 93 RAAs nationwide, which are evaluated biennially since 2013 by experts and scholars through presentations, audits, and field inspections for their operational efficiency. This year even saw mystery customer in action which provided valuable clues for experts and scholars to take into consideration. The first edition of the award ceremony was held in 2017 and commended 30 RAAs, while 38 RAAs were awarded in this year’s 2nd edition.
The COA explained that among the awarded RAAs this year, the JiangMaYuan RAA from DaHu Township in MiaoLi, the ZhentouShan RAA from YuanShan Township in YiLan, the JhongShan RAA from DongShan Township in Yilan, and the TaoMi RAA from Puli Township in NanTou are all receiving the highest accolade for the third consecutive time. In addition, the ShuangTan RAA from SanYi in MiaoLi, the Pear Homeland RAA from Taichung’s DongShi District, and the JinHu RAA from KouHu Township in YunLin were bestowed the Excellence Award for their outstanding performance. These RAAs not only serve as benchmark in Agricultural Sixth Industrialization and collective prosperity to other RAAs, but also take home a trophy and NT$ 80,000 in cash.
Ideal agri-tourism destinations offer great variety of produc
The COA stated that every outstanding RAA offers its unique quality and features, for example: besides its famous outdoor “Flower-Fruit Banquet”, the ZhentouShan RAA also offers a variety of souvenir gifts made with fresh local produce. The JhongShan RAA offers hands-on experiential agri-food educational activities centered on organic tea and pomelo. The JiangMaYuan RAA is well-known for its ginger, and has amassed a group of loyal customers with its ginger cuisine and outdoor activities such as ginger planting and harvesting. The ShuangTan RAA blends agriculture and art, where tourists can appreciate beautiful flowers, pick fruits, taste authentic rural cuisine, and engage in popular DIY activities such as pottery, sculpting, and coloring.
Tourists that visit Pear Homeland RAA can adopt a pear tree and experience the entire process from pear planting, This is a unique one-stop pear growing experience popular among tourists from Hong Kong and Macau. TaoMi RAA, which has a unique firefly species, is a benchmark in ecological conservation and attracts more than 50,000 tourists annually. Last but not least, JinHu RAA, offers exciting aquaculture and seafood experience that includes shrimps, clams, fish, and farm produce guaranteed to satisfy all walks of life.
An important base that drives agriculture forward and generates profit
Minister Chen stated that RAAs shape the characteristics of regional industry and recreational agriculture by integrating regional characteristic agriculture, culture, landscape, and ecological resources, which attract both foreign and domestic tourists to visit Taiwan’s rural villages and experience local culture and delicacy. This further improves rural economy and motivate young talents to migrate back to rural areas. The COA would continue to promote agri-tourism in accordance with key policies such as regional revitalization, food agriculture education, and production for local consumption.
According to the statistics from the COA, in 2018, about 27.6 million tourists, including 610 thousand foreigners, have visited Taiwan’s agri-tourism, creating NT$10.8 billion for the industry. Thus, the COA encourages every RAA to become bellwethers and reach another peak as one. The COA also extended the invitation to the general public for a visit to the outstanding RAAs and experience a relaxing, green, LOHAS rural journey. (A list of RAAs is attached for reference). Resorts and hotels are welcome to work in partnership with RAAs to promote agri-tourism in Taiwan. For more detailed information, please check the website: https://ezgo.coa.gov.tw/.
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