The Yunlin County Government is planning to create 800 hectares of organic farmland within the next three years and hopes to expand its new guidance program, which includes subsidies for the cost of organic fertilizers, as well as organic farmland leases and certification. It is also working on increasing the number of organic farmers in Yunlin. On Sunday last week 160 students received certificates for attending the government’s organic farming classes.
Yunlin’s Agriculture Department said that there is currently more than 5,200 hectares of certified organic farmland in Taiwan, 270 hectares of which belongs to Yunlin County, or 5.2 percent, so there is apparently still plenty of room to grow when it comes to developing organic farming in Yunlin. The low number is also a sign of the many difficulties that farmers face in switching from regular to organic farming.
The department says that in order to build up the organic farming industry in Yunlin, the government plans to create 800 hectares of organic farmland within the next three years, and promote its new guidance program for organic farming, which includes organic farming subsidies, the organization and planning of designated organic farming areas, and organic farming classes.
Chen Kun-chin, head of the department’s Farming Guidance Section, says that financial assistance includes funds for organic farming greenbelts, planting shrubs and trees, organic fertilizers, biological control materials and resources, certification and testing fees, rent for farmland, as well as small-scale farming machinery.
National Yunlin University of Science and Technology was commissioned to teach the new organic farming classes, which are offered in Douliu, Huwei, Siluo and Beigang townships. A total of 160 students received certificates this time. On Sunday last week Yunlin’s Chief Secretary, Hsu Yi-fong, said during the ceremony that organic farming is a long road indeed, but that as long as you are on the right road there is no reason to be afraid how long that road is, adding that the county government will continue promoting organic farming and encouraging farmers to develop the organic farming industry.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)