Transferring knowledge to farmers in Taiwan

In line with the Taiwanese government’s aim to turn the country’s agriculture industry into a competitive and green sector, the plant science industry is actively involved in helping growers harness technology to increase yields while adopting environmentally friendly farming practices.

Recognizing that farmers may not have expertise in protecting their crops, CropLife Taiwan has been reaching out to farmers nationwide on responsible pesticide use. Through farmers’ meetings, booklets and the dissemination of personal protection equipment, the Association aims to step up its efforts to educate farmers on product stewardship, including enhancing food safety.

CropLife Taiwan has partnered with the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and crop protection associations to strengthen its farmer outreach initiatives. In Taoyuan county, the EPA and CropLife Taiwan have been training farmers on proper treatment of used pesticide containers, including triple rinsing and recycling. The objective is for farmers to be responsible stewards of the land and add value to the agricultural food chain.

Lin Ah Qin, a vegetable farmer from Taiwan’s Changhua county, struggled to support her family of three children after her husband passed away four years ago. With little knowledge about farming, yields were low.

Lin’s life turned around after she attended a farmers’ meeting in 2007. At the event, she learnt about protecting her harvests, including selecting crop protection products, frequency of use and dosage. In addition, Lin picked up tips on enhancing food safety by following product label instructions.

After using pesticides on her garlic crops to combat pests and disease, Lin saw a dramatic improvement. When the harvest came three months later, yields had jumped 14 percent. Encouraged, Lin followed the same guidelines with her winter crops. Again yields increased, this time by 15 percent.

Training on the responsible use of pesticides has resulted in greater efficiency and lower input costs for Lin. In addition, she learnt environmentally friendly ways of disposing of empty pesticide containers. Lin looks forward to the future with confidence, knowing her yields and income will continue to improve, sufficiently providing for her and her three children.

Visit www.croplifeasia.org to learn more about work towards sustainable agriculture across the Asia Pacific region.

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