Taiwan launches initiative to nurture plant doctors for eco-agriculture

Taiwan plans to train 400 experts in 5 years to provide medical treatment for plants and crops

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NTU Plant Teaching Hospital inaugurated (Photo/Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine)

NTU Plant Teaching Hospital inaugurated (Photo/Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A plant teaching hospital was inaugurated at National Taiwan University (NTU) on Nov. 26, marking another step forward towards the institutionalization of plant doctor cultivation in Taiwan.

In line with the government’s objective to halve the use of agricultural pesticides in ten years as part of its eco-vision, effort is being invested to draft a regulation governing the training of experts in botany, agronomy, horticulture, soil, and environmental sciences, said the Council of Agriculture.

Apart from NTU, National Chung Hsing University, National Chiayi University, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, National Ilan University, and National Taitung University have established or are mulling establishing departments dedicated to related sciences, aimed to nurture talent in the field to provide medical services to plants, reported CNA.

As many as 400 plant professionals are expected to be ready to offer relevant services through the initiative in four to five years, pointed out Chen Hong-bo (陳宏伯) of Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

A total of 21 interns have been dispatched to townships across Taiwan at the request of farmers’ associations and local governments, Chen added. With the backing from professional teams, these interns will ensure problems encountered at various agricultural districts are adequately addressed without threatening the ecosystems, CNA quoted him.

The program, a significant part of it drawing on the expertise from NTU College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture, provides assistance in crop disease and pest diagnosis, pesticide application advice, and crop management, as well as garden pest control consultation, reckoned Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

A plant clinic in Taiwan (Photo/Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine)