TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) called for innovative thinking to address the challenges facing the agricultural sector today and to bring about sustainable developments within the farming industry in Taiwan.
The National Agricultural Congress opened on Friday in Taipei. While commending the policies pushed forward by the Council of Agriculture (COA) over the past two years, the president said reforms and progress must continue.
President Tsai said Taiwan’s agriculture has been moving on the right track towards innovation, sustainability, and upgrades, but the country needs experts and agriculturalists to contribute their wisdom, experience, and knowledge to help conceive of new directions and solutions for the agricultural sector in the future.
The president also called for innovative thinking to tackle the challenges of social media, where rumors and speculation often have far too much influence over the stability of the market. In addition, she said innovative approaches are needed to deal with serious natural catastrophes that have caused a great loss for farmers in recent years.
Minister of the Council of Agriculture Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) emphasized that the congress aims to collect bottom-up opinions and advice for future approaches to the sustainable development of agriculture in Taiwan, which is facing various challenges, including extreme weather conditions, aging society, and the liberalization of regional trade.
The minister also urged Taiwanese society to think beyond the prices of agricultural products, and to be more concerned with the overall environment and conditions of farmers and farming villages.
The agricultural sector should work with the technological and manufacturing sectors, said Lin, adding that so it can become an innovative industry that will create more opportunities in the future.
After a 15-year hiatus, the COA convened the sixth National Agricultural Congress from Sep. 7 to Sept. 8. In the past one year, 18 preliminary meetings have been held with roughly 2,800 people taking part in them, according to COA.