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TAIWAN Academicians call for
government support for agriculture sector by Yang Su-min and Kay Liu
03-July-2012 Focus Taiwan News Channel View
Taipei, July 3 (CNA) A member
of Academia Sinica suggested Tuesday the creation of a national
research institute for agricultural technology to help build
the competitiveness of the sector, which has been hard-hit
Chou Chang-hung said in a report at the July 2-5 biennial
meeting of Academia Sinica members that Taiwan's agriculture
sector, which is labor-intensive and composed of mainly
small farmers, is declining rapidly.
Besides the impact of globalization, the report, co-authored
by Chou and fellow academician Liao I-chiu, points out that
conservative government policies that rely on subsidies
and lack long-term planning or vision also hinder progress
in the sector.
With its inability to transform into a more technology-
and capital-intensive force, the sector is seeing a waning
labor force and production values, leading to a growing
rural-urban gap, according to the report.
He therefore proposed the creation of a research institute
operated under partnerships among Academia Sinica and universities
to develop the country's agriculture and biotechnology.
Chou also suggested that graduate school courses should
be established to cultivate talent in research and management
for the agriculture and biotech sectors.
Following Chou's report, academician Mai Chao-cheng called
for improvement of the marketing and distribution of agricultural
produce to avoid the current situation in which middlemen
profit, to the detriment of the farmers.
Mai also said the government should enhance the legal framework
for the protection of the intellectual property rights of
agricultural technology in order to prevent Taiwanese businessmen
from taking the results of research projects funded by Taiwan
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