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Study on the Feasibility of the Sustainability of Taiwan’s Fruit Farming Households Using the Food System — A Case Study of Producing Regions of Bananas, Mangoes, and Pears
fruit farming households
無論是否適合外銷，個別農家應該將基本重心放在內銷，在外銷方面則應 與日本近來的政策一樣，鎖定特定市場及特定適合外銷的農產品，積極推動農產品外銷，以達到台灣果樹農家永續發展的目標。果樹農家將重心放在國內需求並達到永續發展，農家內部必須從事多元化複合經營、積極規劃生產及銷售策略、取得農業外收入等。此外農家所處外部環境，需如下所述進行改善。1. 穩定國內市場價格；2. 強化農會共同選果、共同運銷體制；3. 為強化經營平臺、提昇農會營運效能，農會應推動與鄰近生產相同作物的產地農會合併；4. 積極推動食品產銷履歷制度的普及，以高品質、安全性、新鮮度為訴求，突顯與進口水果之間的差異性；5. 適合加工的農產品可經由加工創造新的消費需求；6. 成立農業代耕體制之區域性組織，協助部分或全部農務工作。再者，積極外銷可提升國內市場價格，提高生產者的收入及生產意願。
This paper examines the sustainability of Taiwan’s fruit farming households using examples of banana producing region, mango producing region and pear producing region based on the framework of food system, international market, production locality, and consumer market (processing and distribution). From the three case studies of fruit farming households, we can realize that tropical fruits such as bananas and mangoes currently being promoted for export are facing very severe competition in the export market. Pears for domestic consumption are facing the challenge from rapid increase of imported pears with lower price in the domestic market after Taiwan joined WTO. Therefore, tropical fruits of lower price imported, Taiwan’s tropical fruits will also eventually face extreme competition not only in the international market but also in the domestic market. The production locality of case studies is now facing the many problems that need to be solved, such as aging of farmers, shortage of successors, secureness of labor force, increasing production cost, low market prices, and the damage by blight, disease and typhoons. In the consumer market, it is necessary to establish a stable sales outlet that can help farmers who are aging and facing shortage of labor force. Export system also needs to be established in order to ensure stable supply not affected by domestic prices. Even if products are suitable for export, individual fruit farming household should place the basic focus on the domestic market to achieve sustainability of households, besides Taiwan should actively export agricultural products that are suitable for export, focusing on the specific market as well as Japan’s agricultural policy. To achieve sustainability under the focus on domestic supply, households need to consider diversified farming, to actively plan production and marketing strategies, and to obtain non farm income. In addition, the external environment of households should be improved in the following ways: (1) To stabilize domestic prices; (2) To strengthen the farmers’ associations’ marketing of products through joint grading; (3) To strengthen management foundation in order to achieve efficient management of farmers’ association, and the farmers’ association needs to be merged; (4) To actively promote the popularization of food traceability system; (5) To create new consumer demand through processing; (6) To establish regional organizations for contract farming system to assist in part of or all of farmworks. In addition, actively exportation will be helpful for stabilizing domestic prices, increasing farmers’ income, and encouraging farmers to work hard. Sustainability of fruit farming households is not only the problem of the producers. From the perspective of ecological environmental conservation, the existences of vacant land tax and implementation of water and soil conservation regulations are very important to maintain agricultural ecology and to conserve the ecological environment. In the social and cultural aspects of sustainability of households, farmers’ associations are important organizations in supporting local agriculture. In addition, the relationship between farmers’ associations and producers is also extremely important to the development of rural community. Similarly from the economic perspective, when considering the sustainability of fruit farming households, whether products are for export or not, stable domestic price and sales outlet that farmers gain stable incomes are the basis for sustainability. Farmers’ stable incomes will become one of effective solutions for the problem of lack of successors. Considering the sustainability of fruit farming households in the age of globalization, it is necessary that farmers, local region and Taiwan Government unite and act together, because Taiwan Government’s policies based on WTO agreements already regulate some environments surrounding farmers.
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