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President Ma Commends Contributions of Award-Winning Farmers


The Council of Agriculture (COA) invited President Ma Ying-jeou to present certificates to outstanding farmers being selected as 10 Shennong Award winners and model farmers in the Republic of China Centennial Shennong Awarding Ceremony held today. The awardees also received prize money of NT$200,000 and NT$100,000 respectively in recognition of their outstanding achievements in agriculture.

President Ma noted that the 10 Shennong Award winners and 12 model farmers were agricultural elites from around the country who have excelled themselves and played a leading role in various agricultural fields, and they really deserved to be awarded because their performance is sufficient to be a model for all farmers in Taiwan .

President Ma Affirms Results of Agricultural Policy and Emphasizes Food Security

The president was particularly positive about the “Small Landlords and Big Tenant-Farmers” project being promoted by the COA. As of the end of April 2011, tenant-farmers leased 5,322 hectares of farmland, with an average of 8 hectares for each tenant-farmer, which are six times more than the average 1.1-hectare farmland owned by farmers. The average age of big tenant-farmers has been lowered to 42, much younger than traditional farm owners’ average age of 63.

In addition, the government has kept its promise not to open the Taiwan market to 830 items of mainland Chinese agricultural products after signing the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), and strived to include Oncidium orchid, tea, grouper, milkfish and 14 other agricultural and fishery products in the ECFA “early harvest” list. Exports of Taiwan agricultural products to mainland China have gradually increased following the signing of ECFA, and a total of 85,000 metric tons of Taiwan agricultural products with a total value of US$215 million were exported to the mainland in the first four months of this year, growing 11.5% and 54.1% respectively as compared with the same period in 2010 respectively.

He has personally experienced the hard work of farming and pay attention to the issue of food security, and the government has decided to raise the food self-sufficiency rate from 32% at present to 40% in 2020 and encouraged people to eat more rice, emphasized President Ma, adding that Taiwan’s idle farm land will be decreased by 5,600 hectares annually if each person in Taiwan eats an additional mouthful everyday. And the government has raised rice prices by NT$3 per kilogram starting from the first harvest in 2011, with an aim to ensure domestic food security.

Other Farmers Should Learn from Outstanding Deeds of Shennong Award Winners

The outstanding deeds of 10 Shennong Award winners being selected this year demonstrate that they have actively managed traditional agriculture with advanced marketing concepts and focused on research and development. For example, Mr. Da-hsin Chien from a family which has run fishery businesses for three generations created brand-new fishery experience and established the “Siho” identification system; Mr. Cheng-hsiang Huang raised healthy pigs with no drug residues while decreasing resource consumption and environmental pollution; Ms. Li-chen Pengspurred the development of Ginger Garden Leisure Agricultural Farm by running a fruit-picking plot and Mother Tian restaurant in Dahu Township, Miaoli County; Mr. Chung-hau Chen, who has chosen to breed new varieties of Oncidium orchid and established a brand for the production and marketing team, promoted exports of cut flowers by the production and marketing team and strategy alliance; Mr. Hsi-chuan Du created single-handedly tea software information system, registered the brands of “Hwa Gung Tea” and “Old Tu’s Collection” and successfully exported to the mainland Chinese market; Ms. Shu-mei Hsu, who has engaged in marketing flowers and seedlings, successfully restored and domesticated some 200 varieties of native Taiwan plants and promoted strategy alliance among production and marketing teams; Mr. Chih-hsiang Chang developed green feeds and energy-conserving, carbon-reducing feeding techniques with innovative R&D efforts and established the “Sunshine Pig” brand of excellent locally produced pork; Mr. Kun-fong Lin developed Taiwan Sambar artificial insemination and semen cryopreservation techniques as well as multiple antler products and processing and utilization of whole deer, and successfully exported them to Spain; Mr. Ching-yuan Lin, who has run a specialized area for harvesting and planting rice, established the professional rice cultivation management system and created the “Great Tong Gang Rice” brand; and Ms. Li-hsueh Chen, who has run an organic tea plantation, led her community towards an organic products producing village by developing cold-brew green tea and promoting the comprehensive production and marketing system.

The 10 Shennong farmers showed infinite potential of Taiwan ’s agricultural development and their deeds are in line with the government’s agricultural policy principles of “health, efficiency and sustainable development.”

100 Shennong Farmers Get Together to Show Spirit of Sustainable Heritage

COA Minister Chen Wu-hsiung said the Shennong Award is the highest honor in the field of Taiwan agriculture and the government has begun the selection of Shennong farmers since 1983 to encourage farmers who made outstanding contribution to the innovation of agricultural production and marketing techniques and sustainable development of agriculture and rural villages. In addition to highlighting the outstanding deeds of the awardees, the government also hopes that they will serve as a benchmark and model for other farmers to follow. So far only 901 farmers have been presented with the Shennong Award. Since 2011 marks the 100 th founding anniversary of the Republic of China, the COA invited 90 Shennong farmers selected in the past few years to get together with the 10 Shennong farmers awarded today, fully demonstrating that Taiwan agriculture’s spirit of sustainable heritage has been passing from generation to generation and symbolizing the significance of 100 Shennong farmers march into the future hand in hand. ( 2011-05-24)