Sustainable Taiwan in reconstruction times: Alishan agriculture goes organic

Organic agriculture is less polluting and more eco-friendly. Organic farmers refuse to use chemical pesticides, emphasize the conservation of water and land, and try their best to strike a balance between mankind and nature. They can thus keep a sustainable environment for generations to come while providing customers with safe food to eat.

While reconstructing the Alishan Region after Typhoon Morakot struck the island in 2009, both farmers and officials began to place more emphasis on organic agriculture. They now care less about large areas of crops and more about how farm land can sustain. An organic certification system has been implemented to ensure the quality of organic food. The indigenous Tsou people are particularly zealous about organicness.

August 3, 2013, President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Chiang Yi-huah visited the Alishan Reconstruction Zone to learn about the “Bringing Past Glory Back to the Greater Alishan Region” program and the reconstruction outcomes over the last four years presented by Morakot Post-disaster Reconstruction Council CEO Jenn-Chuan Chern. They then visited the Alishan Branch of the Mana Organic Life Association, Chashan Grains Production and Sale Studio, and the “Daso ci Cou” agricultural studio in Xinmei Village, to learn about how organic agriculture is being promoted in Alishan. There are 83.99 hectares of certified organic farm land there, and 329 hours of trainings have been jointly received by the farmers. A total of 2,075 persons have benefited from the program and NT$7.2 million revenues have been made. The president and the premier highly acknowledged these results.

The council representative noted that it is important for Alishan to develop organic agriculture, because it is located at the upstream of the Zhenwen Reservoir. Alishan’s going organic means that people can enjoy cleaner water from the reservoir. This is also a chance for the local tribes to learn about eco-friendliness and participate more in environment protection.

Alishan is expected to become an exemplary zone for sustainable development.
Source: Morakot Post-disaster Reconstruction Council