1. Through the hard work of our farmers and the support they get from the government, agriculture has served as a strong foundation for Taiwan's commercial and industrial "economic miracle." Let's take a look at how far agriculture has come.
2. The Council of Agriculture, COA, is part of the Executive Yuan, or Cabinet. It is in charge of policies and programs for agriculture, forestry, food, fishing and animal husbandry. It oversees the provincial and municipal governments, who are in charge of day-to-day implementation.
3. There are three long term objectives for agriculture: To raise the quality of the work force, improve efficiency in the use of farmland, adjust the production structure, increase value added, lower marketing costs and raise competitiveness; to improve welfare for farmers and their families, to improve culture and the quality of life in rural areas, to narrow the gap in living standards between city and country and to achieve an equitable distribution of wealth; and to ensure sustainable use of agricultural resources, harmonize agriculture and the environment and to sustain and enrich the nation's "green assets, " partly through encouraging development of recreational farms.
4. Taiwan's land area is about 36,000 square kilometers. As two thirds of this is mountains or slope land, agriculture takes place mainly in the remaining 29 % that is plains.
5. Taiwan is a subtropical island characterized by high temperatures and heavy rainfall. These conditions are great for agriculture, but also lend themselves to the breeding of insects and disease. There are also frequently typhoons in summer and autumn.