Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Working Group Meeting convenes in Taipei: Preparing for agriculture to move towards net-zero carbon emissions and get ready for future global agricultural trade
The Council of Agriculture (COA) and Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (DAFF) host the 18th Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Working Group (AWG) Meeting in Taipei on May 2. The theme of the meeting was “climate change, sustainability, and future ready trade.” Both sides agreed that given the impact of rapidly evolving global environmental challenges and climate anomalies on food supply systems, the agricultural sector must continue to improve its resilience to future climate impacts, develop technology that makes a substantive contribution to net-zero carbon emissions and promotes business opportunities, and be ready for new global norms and agricultural trade in the future.
The COA states that at this year’s meeting of the AWG, the two parties focused on net-zero emissions policies, technological cooperation, and new investment opportunities, concentrating on issues including “building agricultural sector resilience against climate change,” “reducing agricultural carbon emissions with sustainable strategies,” and “promotion of Taiwan-Australia cooperation through agriculture.” During the meeting Australia stated that in recent years agriculture in Australia has been impacted by extreme weather, and that the government is proactively encouraging its agricultural sector to improve agricultural practices and become more climate focused. The Australian side looked forward to sharing insights with respect to its policy experiences with net-zero agriculture, food security, and related topics in the global context, and finding ways to strengthen technical cooperation in areas such as irradiation treatment as a sustainable technique and using seaweed to reduce livestock carbon emissions.
The COA notes that in recent years there has been significant progress in terms of harmonization of testing procedures for determination of plant breeder rights between Taiwan and Australia. Simplification of application processes on both sides has saved time, cost, and resources for businesses and testing organizations in both countries. At this AWG meeting, both sides further exchanged information in disaster management technology, cooperation in phenomics’ research, drone detection technology for pests, and improvement of fisheries marketing technology and evaluation models.
The COA relates that during the Covid-19 pandemic, Taiwan and Australia were important partners in terms of economic recovery and ensuring food security. The AWG Meeting has been convened since 2004 and is aimed at strengthening productive agricultural relations, promoting mutual understanding of respective agricultural and trade policies, and identifying opportunities for collaboration in areas of mutual interest including innovation, research and development, market access, and food safety and security. Following this AWG, on May 3 a forum for agribusinesses were host by the two countries in Yunlin County. Businesses from the farming, fisheries, and livestock industries in Taiwan and Australia were invited to showcase their strategies and practices in net-zero carbon emissions in order to promote trade and investment opportunities for both parties in the field of agricultural carbon reduction technologies.