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September 23, 2017

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Cabinet announces plan to inject NT$3.3 billion into agricultural industry

As part of the "Economy Power-up Plan," the Executive Yuan announced yesterday a new economic stimulus plan that will invest NT$3.3 billion into the agricultural industry of Yunlin and Changhua County.

The money will be invested into the Golden Pathway of Agricultural Revitalization project over an eight-year period.

According to the Council of Agriculture (COA), the project aims to reform the agricultural land adjacent to the high speed railway which connects the two counties. The ground in this region suffers from severe land subsidence following excessive ground water extraction for irrigation purposes. Part of the project, they said, was to assist farmers in planting drought-tolerant crops that require less irrigation. The new project is estimated to save an annual 24 million tons — around half the total capacity of Hushan Dam, which holds a maximum capacity of 52 million tons, the council said.

With three governmental bodies — the Cabinet-level COA, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Transportation and Communications — integrating resources with the local government, the Cabinet is aiming to incorporate new technologies into current agricultural practices.

The government is developing a program that will train the next generation of farmers to use cloud-computing applications as part of their farming method.

"Our goal is to produce 1,650 prospect farmers every year," the Executive Yuan reported.

Besides constructing devices to conserve water and energy, the government hopes to bring in 120,000 tourists a year along the Golden Pathway as a means of generating revenue.

The Golden Pathway encompasses a land area of 13,318 hectares (32,909 acres), and stretches for 35 kilometers. Two-thirds of the land is reserved for agricultural purposes.

According to the Executive Yuan, this new project aims to incorporate new technologies that will increase efficiency and modernize farming practices.

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