■ The COA issued the “Directions on the Disposal of the Fins of Shark Catches of Fishing Vessels.”
■ Announced amendments to the Directions for Loans for the Agriculture and Food Industry for Guidance and Assistance of Management.
■ Released NT$1,071,090,000 in disaster relief subsidies following the torrential rains of November 2011, assisting 57,585 households of farmers and fishermen who were impacted by the rains.
■ Terminated the purchasing of rice for public stocks for the second growing season of 2011; a total of 111,969 metric tons were purchased.
■ Set up special displays in four RT Marts in Shanghai to sell processed meat and poultry products from Taiwan.
■ Israel agreed to allow breeders from Taiwan to apply for plant variety rights in Israel.
■ The COA set up electronic bulletin boards carrying agricultural information in farmers’ and fishermen’s associations at all levels.
■ Held a press conference to announce logos for the “Rural Rejuvenation” program (also sometimes known as the “Rural Regeneration” program).
■ Held a celebratory event for the 40th “Veterinarians Day” which also served as a platform for publicizing animal health inspection and quarantine; special recognition was awarded to persons who have devoted many years of service and/or made particularly important contributions to veterinary medicine.
■ Premier Sean Chen came to the COA on an inspection visit, and the COA proposed core tasks to be implemented for agriculture in the future.
■ The ROC president promulgated amendments to the “Farmers’ Association Act.”
■ The COA announced amendments to the “Operation Directions for the Specific Tutor in Recreation Farm.”
■ Amendments were also announced to the Irrigation Association Organization Act; the COA became the governing agency for the irrigation associations of Qixing and Liugong in Taipei City.
■ The COA banned the shipment from Kinmen County of Fujian Province of artiodactyls (even-toed hoofed animals), carcasses thereof, internal organs thereof, or fresh meat products thereof, to the main island of Taiwan or any other offshore islands.
■ Established an association for unified purchasing of imported pear scion.
■ Held a ceremony to formally launch the program to organize communities to strengthen forest conservation work.
■ The “Wanxiang” specialty store opened in Shanghai to sell premium agro-products from Taiwan.
■ The COA lowered the criteria for subsidizing interest rate differentials for policy- oriented special agricultural loans.
■ The COA announced amendment to the regulations governing simplified procedures for inspection and quarantine for the export or import of animal products,
■ The COA announced amendment to the Operational Directions for Loans Subject to the Agricultural Development Fund.
■ Strengthened adjustment measures for production and marketing of livestock and poultry.
■ Following the damage to agriculture caused by continual cold weather in January and February, plus heavy rains in February, the COA declared Miaoli County to be a disaster area for the purpose of low-interest natural-disaster recovery loans.
■ The COA gave approval to the Changhua County Fishermen’s Association to set up a credit department, Buxin Division.
■ Participated in events marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of AARDO.
■ Held the 2012 Arbor Day event; President Ma Ying-jeou attended and planted a tree.
■ Held ceremonies of award prizes for two events: the fourth national competition for children’s poems and pictures about leisure farms, and the first national competition for children’s essays about leisure farm districts.
■ Hosted an APEC conference on the impact of extreme weather on the fishing and aquaculture industries, and on strategies to deal with this issue.
■ The COA announced amendments to two sets regulations: (1) the selection methods for the chairpersons of farmers’ associations; (2) the regulations governing personnel at irrigation associations;
■ The COA announced amendments to the procedural rules for applications for certificates for big-eye tuna and swordfish fishing operations.
■ The COA completed and announced the establishment of two new sets of regulations:
(1) standards for energy efficiency for paddlewheel aerators used in aquaculture, as well as subsidy measures for promoting the use of energy-saving paddlewheel aerators; and (2) the principles governing purchasing of wet rice for public rice stocks.
■ Attended the 7th meeting of the Working Group in Integrated Monitoring Measures (IMM) of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT).
■ Convened the APEC Food Emergency Response Mechanism (AFERM) Working Meeting.
■ Held a large scale debris-flow disaster evacuation exercise, with President Ma Ying- jeou personally overseeing the exercise.
■ Launched a platform for supply of reasonably-priced domestic pork.
■ Held 15 seminars on the theme “Eat with Food Safety.”
■ The COA announced an amended version of the regulations governing election and recall at farmers’ associations.
■ Announced the first group of makers and models of paddlewheel aerators that conform to standards set in April.
■ Torrential rains caused severe losses to agriculture in the Kaohsiung-Pingtung region; the COA set in motion the mechanism for purchasing rice from disaster zones.
■ The COA lifted movement restrictions on the “foot-and-mouth disease controlled area” of Kinmen County, and the farms in the area returned to a normal level of management.
■ The COA attended two important international gatherings: (1) the 2nd APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security, and (2) the 3rd meeting of the “Future of ICCAT Working Group.”
■ Participated in a commemoration ceremony at the Yoichi Hatta Memorial Park.
■ Held a number of promotional or informational activities, including: (1) a press conference for the opening of the 2012 Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project; (2) a press conference for the launching of the “Taiwan Beef Promotion and Tasting Campaign: The 2012 Taiwan Beef Carnival,” to help market domestically produced beef; and (3) events marking the International Day for Biological Diversity.
■ The COA provided assistance to the Taiwan Orchid Growers Association to participate in the Chelsea Flower Show in the UK; the Taiwan display, with a theme of “Universe in the Dragon’s Palm,” won a gold medal.
■ Following the adoption by the Executive Yuan of the Golden Decade National Vision plan, the COA drafted a plan entitled “Golden Decade Agriculture of Health and Sustainability” (LOHAS Agriculture), which envisions the construction of LOHAS agriculture that attracts younger people into the rural economy, has great vitality, is highly competitive, and provides stable incomes.
■ The COA and the Council of Indigenous Peoples worked cooperatively to draft and announce measures governing the hunting, killing and use of wild animals by indigenous peoples for reasons of traditional culture or for ceremonial purposes.
■ The COA also drafted and announced several new sets of regulations, stipulating:
(1) rules governing election and recall for chairpersons and committee members of irrigation associations; and (2) rules governing subsidies and assistance measures for (i) creative activities related to rural industries, and (ii) research and development for technologies and techniques related to rural industries.
■ Announced an amended version of the Enforcement Rules of the Farmers’ Association Act, thereby enabling name changes for the farmers’ associations of cities and counties amalgamated into the special municipalities of Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.
■ Announced amended versions of three sets of regulations related to animal health and testing: (1) the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease;
(2) the Quarantine Requirements for the Importation of Animals and Animal Products; and (3) the Testing Methods for HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza).
■ Following the damage to agricultural caused by torrential rains and Typhoon Talim the COA (a) declared six cities and counties to be disaster areas for the purpose of low- interest natural disaster recovery loans; (b) provided cash subsidies for three types of crops in Taoyuan County as well as special-case subsidies for the flower industry and for construction of plastic greenhouses; (c) provided cash subsidies for three types of crops in Hsinchu County; (d) provided special-case subsidies for rice in Taitung County, papaya in Kaohsiung City, and persimmons in four districts of Taichung City; (e) provided special-case subsidies for various crops in Chiayi City (rice), Yunlin County (rice, peanuts, corn), Douliu and two other townships (wax apples), Dongshi and three other townships (pasture grass), Huwei and two other townships (muskmelon), Gukeng (bananas), Pingtung County (bitter melon, cucumber, papaya, watermelon), Ligang and two other townships (starfruit), Changzhi and one other township (plastic-covered greenhouses).
■ The COA participated in the National Climate Change Summit and presented a report on strategies that agricultural authorities can adopt to cope with climate change.
■ Set up a pavilion featuring Taiwan agro-products at the 2012 Food Taipei expo.
■ Held a number of promotional events, including: (1)celebrations for 2012 Irrigation Day, which included recognition of persons making outstanding contributions to the field; (2)a ceremony to mark World Oceans Day (held in cooperation with the Coast Guard); (3)a press conference to launch the internet marketing of traditional Dragon Boat Festival snacks (zongzi) made by rural women; (4)an event marking the release of the five-part documentary series A Centennial Video History of Agriculture in Taiwan.
■ Held two major conferences: (1)one for exchanges of ideas and for business- matchmaking between agro-businesses and scholars and specialists in rural industries; and (2) one with officials from mainland China’s authority in charge of agro-chemicals to exchange research and regulations regarding agro-chemicals.
■ The COA announced amended versions of three sets of regulations, including: (1) the regulations for applying for, approval for, and issuing of pensions (welfare benefits) for elderly farmers; (2) the Regulations Governing Risk Management Ratios of the Credit Departments of Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Associations; and (3) the regulations for issuing fishing vessel building permits and fishing licenses.
■ Published the Import Quarantine Requirements for Fresh Cherries from Mainland China.
■ Convened the first ever National Agriculture Summit, bringing together national COA officials and chief agricultural officials from all Taiwan’s cities and counties for exchanges of views.
■ Held celebratory activities for National Fishermen’s Day 2012, and recognized model fishermen and persons making outstanding contributions to the field.
■ Held an introductory camp for university teams selected through a competition to participate in rural community building.
■ The “Rural Marketplace” online platform started operations.
■ The COA held the WildView Taiwan Film Festival.
■ Opened the Green Eco House at the Chukou Nature Center in Chiayi.
■ Held an activity to promote the Nongcun Haozan travel guide APP.
■ Participated in the Bio Taiwan 2012 expo; the COA organized a pavilion on the theme of agro-technology, where we displayed research results produced in recent years by our ten major research teams, specifically research results that have already been, or show the potential to be, turned over to industry and made into marketable products.
■ Announced the removal of Mexico from the list of countries/zones free of HPAI.
■ The COA announced an amended version of the regulations governing the types of, and management methods for, vaccines needed to eradicate classical swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease.
■ The COA drafted and announced the rules governing voting day for the chairpersons, deputy chairpersons, and member representatives, of "agricultural affairs committees" of Farmers' Associations.
■ Following the damage to agriculture caused by Typhoon Saola, the COA declared five counties to be disaster areas for the purpose of low-interestnatural-disaster recovery loans. Following the damage to agriculture caused by Typhoon Tembin, the COA declared Taitung County to bea disaster area for the purpose of low-interest natural-disaster recovery loans.
■ The COA terminated purchases of paddy for public stocks at a total of 313,325 metric tons for the first crop of 2012.
■ Campaigned to promote concrete measures to strengthen humane management at cattle slaughterhouses and to improve inspection of sanitation in the slaughtering process.
■ Sent a written request to all farmers’ and fishermen’s associations to set standards for various fees related to their operations and post these online.
■ Held lectures and seminars to promote the use of labeling for place-of-origin of domestic beef.
■ Held a conference, including researchers, academics, and industry, on the latest international trends in the agricultural bio-technology industry;
■ Held the 2012 Premium Seafood Judging and Awards Ceremony.
■ Announced the recognition of Singapore as a country free of foot-and-mouth disease and rabies; of Sweden as a country free of glanders, HPAI, and Newcastle Disease (ND); and of the Republic of Poland as a country free of HPAI.
■ The COA announced an amended version of the regulations governing election and recall of the farmers’ associations.
■ Announced that it is forbidden to manufacture, mix, import, export, sell, or display the pharmaceutical product β-agonist; however, use of β-agonist as an additive in medicated animal feed for cattle is permitted.
■ Published the Import Quarantine Requirements for Pear Scions from Mainland China.
■ President Ma Ying-jeou met with model department heads from the National Irrigation Association as well as chairmen of local irrigation associations from around the nation.
■ The COA held the third direct elections for the chairman and commissioners of the Qixing and Liugong irrigation associations in Taipei City.
■ The COA was very active in international events in September, including: (1) holding two regular bilateral international conferences on agricultural cooperation, one with the Netherlands (the 14th such meeting) and one with Australia (the 9th); (2) holding an international conference with Japan and mainland China on cooperative management of eel resources; and (3) holding the 2012 Taiwan-EU conference on “zoning” (geographical management) of animal disease and management of imported food products.
■ The COA also participated in the 5th cross-strait conference on inspection and quarantine of agro-products.
■ Taiwan formally became a member of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization.
■ The COA declared September 1, 2012 to be Mikania micrantha prevention day.
■ Technology was also in important theme in September, as the COA: (1) held a ceremony to publicize research results produced by the COA’s ten major research teams; (2) set up an agriculture display at the 2012 Taipei International Invention Show and TechnoMart, where we exhibited results from R&D in agro-technology; and
(3) held, in cooperation with the Asian Productivity Organization, a conference on the application of nanotechnology to increasing productivity in agriculture.
■ The COA participated in the 2012 cross-strait marine products trade fair in Fuzhou, mainland China.
■ Held the “2012 International Symposium on an Action Plan for Protection of Living Things.”
■ Held several promotional activities, including: (1) celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the 4H Club; (2) a ceremony marking the opening of the pleasure boat pier at Bisha Fishing Harbor in Badouzi; (3) events for releases of new books, including An Eventful Century: 10 Years of the Alishan Forest Railway and Red Data Book of Freshwater Fishes in Taiwan.
■ The COA drafted and announced two new sets of regulations: (1) Directions for Loans for Youths Establishing Agricultural Businesses; and (2) incentives for owners of motorized fishing boats to take out insurance.
■ Announced an amended version of the rules to be observed by long-line tuna fishing boats and by ships whose special purpose is transport of catch from fisheries, when such boats/ships go to harbors in mainland China to sell catch.
■ Announced amendments to the: (1) Directions for Loans for Farmers and Fishermen in Guidance and Assistance of Management Improvement; (2) Directions for Loans for Agricultural Production and Marketing Groups and Members; (3) Operational Directions for Loans Subject to the Agricultural Development Fund; and (4) Directions for Compositing Loan for Farmhouses.
■ Announced the extension for six months of the exemption from the 5% operations tax for imported corn, with the extension to run until April 5, 2013.
■ Participated in meetings of the Commission for the Conservation of the Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), including the 7th meeting of its disciplinary committee and the 19th meeting of its extended committee; Taiwan received a quota for 2013 of 945 metric tons.
■ Held swearing-in ceremonies for new officials of the farmers’ associations of Qixing and Liugong in Taipei City.
■ The Taichung and Kaohsiung branches of the Agricultural Bank of Taiwan began their operations.
■ In cooperation with the Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asia-Pacific, the COA held an international conference on revitalization of rural communities in the Asia-Pacific region.
■ The COA also held a number of promotional activities, including: (a) a press conference for the entry into the market of handicraft products made by rural women;
(b) an event (the 2nd of its kind) to present projects done during extended stays in rural communities by teams of university and college students, and the presentation of awards for same; (c) a ceremony to recognize individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to rural rejuvenation; and (d) the 2012 World Pork Knuckle Festival in Taiwan.
■ Held the 2012 joint ground and air exercise for responding to forest fires.
■ Set up “Taiwan Recreational Agriculture and Agri-tourism Pavilion” and “Taiwan Agri-gift Pavilion” at the 2012 Taipei International Travel Fair, one featuring Taiwan’s recreational farm industry and the other gift and souvenir products from rural areas, helping to promote these two relatively new aspects of Taiwan’s evolving rural economy.
■ Declared the week of October 29 through November 10 to be “National Farmland Rat Control Week.”
■ The environmental film The Oriental Honey Buzzard of Ninety-Nine Peaks won the award for best photography at the 47th Television Golden Bell Awards.
■ The COA announced the recognition of the Territory of Guam as a zone free of rabies, and the recognition of global freedom from rinderpest.
■ The Taiwan Province Fishermen’s Association was upgraded to the national level, and renamed the National Fishermen’s Association, Taiwan ROC.
■ The COA announced the removal of New South Wales, Australia, from the list of countries/zones free of HPAI.
■ Held a press conference to mark the launching of the domestic beef traceability information system.
■ Major international events in November included the following: (1) The World Trade Organization and the COA co-hosted the 2012 Regional Workshop for Asia and the Pacific on the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, marking the tenth year since Taiwan’s accession in 2002. (2) In cooperation with the Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asia-Pacific, the COA organized an international conference on sustainable development of the citrus fruit industry in Asia, focusing on the epidemiology and management of citrus greening disease (citrus huanglongbing). (3) The COA participated in the 18th Special Meeting of the Commission of ICCAT.
■ Four projects of the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau and one project of the Forestry Bureau won “golden quality awards” for public construction projects.
■ The Forest Art Exhibition Hall of the Luodong Forestry Culture Park was opened to the public.
■ The COA (1) organized a group to participate in FHC China 2012, in Shanghai, a major international exhibition devoted to food and beverages for the hospitality industry, and also (2) organized the 2012 Taiwan International Aquarium Expo.
■ Organized two important conferences, on the following topics: (1) “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Initiative” and (2) Implementing the spirit of the “Satoyama Initiative.”
■ Held the 2012 Xinshe “Sea of Flowers” event series.
■ Organized events to mark the opening of the Aogu Wetlands and Forest Park to the public.
■ Held a press conference to promote the release of new Taiwan Agri-gift products.
■ The COA announced an amended version of the regulations for applying for, approval for, and issuing of pensions (welfare benefits) for elderly farmers.
■ Drafted and announced: (1) provisional measures governing rental of fishing boats for surveys of fisheries resources, research on the marine environment, and fisheries management; (2) limitations for amount of “other effective ingredients” as defined under Section 2, Article 7 of the Agro-Pesticides Management Act.
■ Designated three new districts (one each in Kaohsiung City, Yilan County, and Taichung City) as “recreational farm zones,” and amended the boundaries of one other recreational farm zone in Yilan County.
■ Attended the “9th Regular Session of the Commission” of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
■ The COA hosted two sessions of regular international meetings: (1) the 19th Session of the TECRO-AIT Sanitary, Phytosanitary, and Agricultural Standards Working Group Consultations; (2) the 4th conference for technical and research exchange with the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
■ Imported four batches of pear scions from mainland China, totaling 10,380 kilos.
■ Held awards ceremonies for: (1) entrepreneurs in the field of technology-based agro- businesses, (2) to award CAS certification for premium quality agro-products.
■ The COA’s “Agriculture Website for Kids” (http://kids.coa.gov.tw) was named number one in the “life information” category of an event sponsored by the Taiwan Internet Content Rating Promotion Association to select the top children’s websites in Taiwan.
■ The COA held a series of promotional activities, including: (1) events to encourage tourism to visit “seas of flowers” activities in Hualien and Taitung counties; (2) the 2013 exhibition of the top 100 premium agricultural products of farmers’ and fishermen’s associations in Taiwan; (3) the “2012 Turkey Rice Festival”; and (4) a press conference to extol the accomplishments of Taiwan’s Pacific saury fishing fleet and encourage more domestic consumption of Pacific saury.
■ Announced the recognition of Brazil as a country with an reported case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.