The Council of Agriculture (COA) announced its list of the nation’s 10 best rice farmers at its Taiwan Rice Expo at Taipei Expo Park yesterday.
The three-day event opened on Friday and the awards ceremony, rewarding farmers based on their work ethic and success in improving the quality of their rice, was held yesterday morning.
Council Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) presented the awards.
The 10 farmers on the list were all experts in their field from different parts of the country and the effort they put into producing high quality rice sets a good example for other farmers, Chen said.
Hopefully, the award can motivate farmers to strive for higher quality rice and further improve the image of Taiwanese rice, he added.
A total of 1,504 farmers from 51 townships in 14 counties had applied to the competition this year, which was the highest number of contestants in the history of the award.
Sixty-one farmers were chosen to compete in the final selection of the top 10.
The 10 winning farmers were each awarded a trophy and a cash prize of NT$100,000 (US$3,400).
Also at the expo were 58 rice and processed rice food producers — which the council said had been chosen for their high quality.
However, some visitors said it was disturbing to find Yeedon Enterprise Co (Sanhao Rice) and Union Rice Co (Zhongxin Rice), which had been found last month to have false labeling in attendance at the expo.
Last month, an unrelated company, Chyuan Shun Food Enterprise Co — which markets its products under the name Shanshui Rice — was found to be selling packaged rice labeled as domestically grown, while the rice was actually mixed with cheaper imported rice.
The COA explained that the problems found in Yeedon Enterprise and Union Rice were less serious than Chyuan Shun Food Enterprise, and the two companies had a set time in which to improve their performances.