Executive Yuan officials yesterday unveiled a “golden corridor” plan to invest NT$4 billion (US$136.5 million) over eight years in crop conversion and agricultural technology to cultivate a new generation of farmers and improve land subsidence problems.
Under the plan, which will begin next year, the government will assist farmers in nine townships and villages in Changhua and Yunlin counties along the high-speed rail line to replace high-water-use crops with low-water and low-energy-use crops, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) told a press conference.
The demarcated area of about 13,318 hectares spans the farmland within 1.5km of either side of the high-speed rail line for a stretch of 35km, Chen said.
If the crops in the area consumed less water and energy, it would save about 22.5 million tonnes of water per year.
Chen said the government planned to train 1,650 farmers to use technology that will enable water and energy conservation.