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2011 National Conference on Food Security Ends Successfully COA Committed to Implement Conclusions to Avoid Food Crisis


The Council of Agriculture (COA) convened the National Conference on Food Security on May 10-11 and scholars, experts and guests invited to the conference reached many important conclusions after discussing food security problems facing the country. The conclusions included raising domestic food self-sufficiency rate to 40% in 10 years; planning overseas investments in agricultural production to stabilize sources of bulk commodities; establishing food security risk management system; strengthening the maintenance of good farmland; and effectively utilizing water for agricultural uses. The Council will coordinate with relevant ministries and commissions to include related conclusions in their annual plan for thorough implementation.



President Ma: Food Security Is National Security



Vice Premier Sean Chen noted when addressing the opening ceremony that as global population increase continuously, more and more attention is paid to the issue of food security. He cited The Economist magazine as saying that food security and food prices are a “silent tsunami” and subsequent impacts will be overwhelmingly intense once there is a crisis.



During the closing ceremony President Ma Ying-jeou thanked the enthusiastic participation of scholars, experts and guests as well as the wisdom and proposals they contributed to help Taiwan respond to potential global food crisis. With regard to recent drought and water shortage problems, the president pointed out that both water resources and food security are national security issues which require long-term planning, instead of to be dealt with in a manner of crisis management year after year.



National Conference Reaches Consensus on Several Key Strategies



The COA said the National Conference on Food Security this year made decision on 14 key strategies and 55 corresponding measures. The main points are as follows:



1.       Raising food self-sufficiency rate and increasing domestic food production and consumption.

1)       Setting the goal of food self-sufficiency rate at 40% in 2020 to ensure Taiwan ’s food security after taking into consideration international situations and trade regulations.

2)       Activating 140,000 hectares of fallaw in line with the above-mentioned goal, and giving priority to encourage the planting of such food grains as feed corn on idle farmland and studying commission farmer groups to operate fallaw in a large scale.

3)       Adjusting incentives for crop rotation, increasing crop species for rotation, and guiding the planting of crops to replace imported ones and offering better incentives.

4)       Developing new ways of utilizing domestic agricultural products or improving diet structure for local people so as to lower demand for imported products, while establishing the place of origin label to encourage people to consume domestic foodstuff.

2.       Strengthening international agricultural investments and cooperation and planning overseas investments in agricultural production.

1)       Securing and diversifying sources of food import, including seeking alternative products or sources of import.

2)       Considering encourage Taiwan businesses to make overseas agricultural investments by combining with the government’s foreign development assistance programs or offering loans with low interest rates or tariff rates as the incentives for importers to bring more food back from abroad.

3)       Strengthening international cooperation to set up an international mechanism for regional food security reserves and create gradually a safety net without borders for food security.

3.       Establishing a classified food security management system and reserve mechanism.

1)       Setting the index for timely response to domestic food security risk in order to lower food security risk.

2)       Maintaining governmental rice stocks at a higher level and monitoring the set safety stock level of bulk commodities.

3)       Promoting the establishment of “food banks” and actively providing disadvantaged people with food.

4.       Safeguarding water and soil resources required for agricultural product to ensure food security.

1)       Ensuring enough amount of quality farmland for agricultural production and establishing consultation mechanism among relevant ministries so as to protect the needed quality farmland.

2)       Strictly examining the applications for changing farmland use before giving approval, and reviewing the mechanism for auditing farmland use violation and its punishment.

3)       Giving priority to investing resources in large agricultural productions areas with resources of good quality.

4)       Maintaining reasonable irrigation water for agriculture, increasing water regulation and storage facilities for agricultural use, and enhancing the efficiency of the agricultural water resource use.

5)       Maintaining the quality of water for irrigation, establishing water quality monitoring and early warning mechanism, and lowering water and soil pollution risk to ensure the safety of agricultural production.



In addition to actively implementing various measures in the future, the Council emphasized that it will fully communicate and cooperate with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Department of Health and other relevant ministries and commissions to provide people with a solid backing and ensure sufficient food supply, protecting people from being threatened by food crisis. ( 2011-05-11)