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Organic Agriculture Promotion Act enforced on May 30 ushers in a new era for Taiwan’s agriculture

Organic Agriculture Promotion Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) was promulgated on May 30 last year (2018) by the presidential decree. Its Article 42 stipulates that one year after the promulgation, on May 30 2019, the Act would formally enter into effect, which can boost the continuous development of organic agriculture in Taiwan. To show government’s determination to step up its promotional effort, the COA (Council of Agriculture) has decided to call a press conference upon the eve of the enforcement to go through the Act’s main implications. The gathering is also intended to draw support for organic agriculture from both public and private sectors; government offices, businesses, research institutes, and civic groups in relevant fields are among the invitees. Hopefully, their influence can trickle to all facets of the society, ultimately enabling the country to achieve the goal of full organic adoption.

“Promotional” spirit manifested at both production and marketing end to push the growth of organic agriculture

The COA indicates that since organic and eco-friendly were listed as the primary agendas of New Agriculture Policy in 2016, in addition to NTD 30,000 to 80,000 per hectare that had been available to organic and eco-friendly practitioners, subsidies on certification fees, greenhouses/net houses, agri-machinery, and organic fertilizers have been provided to encourage farmers to make a sustainable transition to organic agriculture. As of the end of April 2019, the organic cultivation had reached 8,957 hectares, which plus the eco-friendly cultivated area of 3,237 hectares amounted to 12,194 hectares, exceeding 1.5% of the country’s arable land.

The COA further points out that after the enforcement, the existing subsidy measures will remain in place under the new legal framework, along with actions in response to farmers’ inquiries and needs. Take the scarcity in organic farmland due to contamination from adjacent activities for example, the Act readily stipulates that farmers are not liable for the contamination attributable to neighboring sources, but the crops contaminated are also not allowed to be sold as organic, in an attempt to achieve balance between producer expedition and consumer protection. Furthermore, farmers who rent public land or lands owned by state-owned enterprises such as Taiwan Sugar Corporation for the use of organic farming may receive 40% off the listed rate as well as a guaranteed lease period of 10 to 20 years. Local governments are brought in to collaborate with the private sector in setting up “Organic Agriculture Promotion Zones”.

In terms of marketing, the Act also established that public resources will be directed toward stimulating organic consumption. Public entities like schools and military shall prioritize using domestically produced organic food products. As of today, the COA, in collaboration with Ministry of Education and local governments, has achieved the full utilization of domestic traceable ingredients in school lunch, with additional incentives provided for the inclusion of organic ingredients. The present weekly consumption of organic ingredients for school lunch is around 163 MTs; schools in New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Hualien County, Pingtung County, and Yilan County have mandated one serving of organic vegetable or organic rice a week. Since the semester beginning in this September, Hsinchu County and Taipei City will join this mix. The enforcement of the Act enables the COA to have tighter collaboration with Ministry of Education and Ministry of National Defense in enlarging the purchase of organic products through school lunch procurement and military group catering. By securing supply contracts for organic farmers, the measure may convince conventional farmers to make the jump into organic farming.

Organic Agriculture Promotion Program—An initiative to unite public and private sectors to promote organic agriculture

The COA indicates that according to Article 5 of the Act, the COA will put in place a consultation board to integrate all relevant units and their resources, who are tasked to draw up “Organic Agriculture Promotion Program” by the end of this year. The program encompasses guidelines for the next four years regarding promotional objectives, development plans, industrial counseling, subsidy programs, technical development and personnel training, as well as organic education and extension, which will be reported to the Executive Yuan for approval before being implemented. Every four years, the program will be reviewed and updated on a rolling basis. On top of that, aside from seeking cooperation with public entities including Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Defense, and Council of Indigenous Peoples as well as local governments and state-owned enterprises like Taiwan Sugar Corporation, the COA will invite 10 experts and scholars who have long been vigilant about organic development to act as organic ambassadors, so that no party is left out in this endeavor to promote organic agriculture. As for common people, each purchase of organic or eco-friendly agricultural products from you is vital, as it brings us that much closer to a clean and sustainable living environment.
Minister Chen and guests unveil the “Organic Taiwan” banner in endorsement
Organic agricultural products

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Minister Chen and guests unveil the “Organic Taiwan” banner in endorsement Minister Chen and guests unveil the “Organic Taiwan” banner in endorsement(jpg)
Organic agricultural products Organic agricultural products(jpg)

  • Origin:Farm Chemicals and Machinery Division
  • Refresh Date:2019-06-25