In order to foster agricultural talent development and exchange between Taiwan and Indonesia, Representative John C. Chen of Taipei Economic and Trade Office(TETO) in Indonesia, and Representative Didi Sumedi of the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office(IETO) to Taipei, signed The Arrangement for Implementing The Indonesian Young Farmer Internship Program in Taiwan at the Council of Agriculture(COA) on August 28, witnessed by both Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture(MOA) and COA officials. The COA stated that the signing of the said agreement is an important milestone in Taiwan’s agricultural talent exchange under the New Southbound Policy.
The COA pointed out that the agreement of the abovementioned internship program has undergone various revisions involving the COA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MOFA), and TETO in Indonesia. The signed bilateral agreement dictates that Indonesia’s MOA shall select young farmers between 18 to 36 years of age, who holds a diploma from Indonesia’s school of agriculture and possesses practical field experiences in farming to be eligible candidates for internship in Taiwan, where internship farms will be handpicked by COA. The internships will have a maximum period of 12 months; however, those who pass the skill aptitude test at the end of the internship are allowed to extend the internship for an extra 12 months. An average of 300 Indonesian interns per year will come to learn agricultural technology from Taiwan. These young farmers trained by the said program will in turn help Indonesia to boost its agricultural development, and can also become valuable assets for Taiwanese agricultural companies in Indonesia.
The Indonesian MOA has selected 54 young farmers for 1st batch. They will receive a 2-week orientation training from August 18 to August 30 at the Center for Agricultural Training (BBPP) Lembang, and will depart for Taiwan after being checked for health and basic Mandarin proficiency. Taiwan has already carried out revision of internship farm candidates 1st batch, and has selected 50 eligible farms to be the host for these interns. The host-farm application seminars and field inspections are handled by all COA’s Agricultural Research and Extension Stations (ARES). After the 1st batch of interns has settled down in Taiwan, both sides will begin preparing for the 2nd batch’s departure.
The COA stated that in order to foster the development of agriculture industry and international agricultural exchange, fulfill bilateral international agreement obligations, establish internship farm inspection and management system, ensure internship quality, and protect foreigner’s internship rights, the Council has enacted the "Directions for Foreigners’ Agricultural Technology Internship in Taiwan" which regulates the abovementioned internship. The integral counseling part of the program will be managed by the Agricultural Technology Research Institute, which include tasks such as Indonesian young farmers’ post-arrival training, visits to interns, counseling services, among others. All COA’s ARES and farmer associations will be tasked with administering skill aptitude tests, farm inspection, farm counseling, among others. A complete planning and operational mechanism are already functioning to ensure that foreign interns in Taiwan receive the services and assistance they need, as well as to protect their rights and benefits.
The COA reiterated that the signing of the arrangement for Implementing The Indonesian Young Farmer Internship Program in Taiwan is an important achievement for the New Southbound Policy under inter-ministerial cooperation. The Council will work closely with its Indonesian counterpart focusing on the development of talents in agriculture, and further promote bilateral agricultural exchange and cooperation, as well as Taiwan-Indonesia friendship.