By Chao Hsin Hu and Andy Cheng, journalists of CNEWS, (Yunlin news)
For a long time, DouNan Town Farmer’s Association has cooperated with Council of Agriculture to promote New Agricultural Movement and to become the first model town in Taiwan under the “Small Landlords and Big Tenants” policy. In compliance with the agricultural product traceability system, the Association created a center-satellite system and built an outsourcing farming center in the middle and south of Taiwan based on the
concept of “the right crop for the right land”, and implemented a strictly controlled process to ensure produce quality and safety. DouNan Town Farmer’s Association CEO Yen-Jung Chang said, currently the total annual land use for contract farming in DouNan is approximately 485 hectares; In addition to the two seasons of rice production, potatoes are planted during fall and winter. By practicing crop rotation and incorporating agricultural technology, we provide environmentally friendly and high quality agriculture products.
DouNan was named “Taliwu” in ancient times. This small plain town was the earliest developed area in Yunlin and the land was so fertile that a variety of crops can grow here. DouNan Town Farmer’s Association has encouraged the use of the agricultural product Traceability system since 1993, and started to implement the system in 2003. It also forged an alliance with other townships from Changhua to Tainan to employ safety production management for contract farming, and to create a production tracking and recording system. It also hired field specialists to practice natural farming for regional dominant species so as to achieve the optimal field management results.
The majority of agricultural produce in DouNan is rice. In 2014 DouNan successfully has had the koshihikari rice seedlings from Toyama Japan transplanted to Taiwan, and launched “CAS Koshihikari DouNan-Cho”. Currently annual koshihikari rice production is 7000 metric tons, and revenue has since multiplied dozens of times. Yen-Jung Chang said, DouNan Town Farmer’s Association continues to comply with government rice procurement policy and takes every necessary step, from seed selection to value-added branding development, to provide well-rounded care to farmers and to the land, in order to ensure farmer’s income stability and rice production quality.
DouNan Town Farmer’s Association selects rice seeds produced under three-step propagation system, and centralizes seedling cultivation in its designated nursery center. It also establishes a total production process control system to properly manage land, irrigation, and fertilization to deliver a consistent rice quality.
Aside from rice, DouNan is also famous for its potato production. Yen-Jung Chang said, rice is planted in paddy field and potato in dry field. Through the rotation of paddy field plantation and dryland farming, the bacteria in the soil is greatly reduced; therefore, the use of fertilizer and pesticide is reduced. The production quantity thus is guaranteed, and so is the optimal quality.
“Besides producing better crops, the future agricultural research and development in Taiwan also needs new ideas”, said Yen-Jung Chang. For example, DouNan Town Farmer’s Association promotes Prophet Rice (Xian-Zhi-Dao) for contract farming with the purpose of taking preventative measures. Farming is highly dependent on the weather, while the weather has become highly unpredictable in recent years. Once rice blast occurs, it might cause serious yield loss. Using “Prophet Rice” processed with innovative rice seed treatment will not only reduce the need for pesticide application, but also avoid neighbor land contamination in advance.
Taiwan Provincial Farmers’ Association has partnered with Bayer to introduce “Prophet Rice (Xian-Zhi-Dao)” healthy seedling technology. This seedling technology is similar to a vaccination shot. The technology helps to minimize the threat of rice blast, sheath blight, leafroller, and stem borer. This solution not only helps farmers cut down once or twice the use for pesticide application from seedling stage to booting stage to save time, labor and cost, but also opens a new chapter for agriculture production to attain both environmental friendliness and efficiency.
DouNan Town Farmer’s Association assists farmers to improve agricultural business operations and to increase rice quality by investing 320 million in rice polishing machine, quality inspection, and cryogenic storage facility. Under contract farming, farmer agrees to the purchase price and production manner; therefore, the risk of price fluctuation is eliminated, and farmer can fully concentrate on how to improve rice quality.
Yen-Jung Chang said, with the development of new crop species and new technology, farmers need to come up with new agricultural practices in order to take advantage of new trends to make progress. Particularly, the prevalence of environmentally friendly farming concept has made a positive impact on soil and water quality. Farmer’s association will continue to assist farmers to embrace new ideas and to further improve the entire agricultural industry.
Photo credit: journalist Zi-yi Cheng
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