High-Tech Harvest

Taiwan Review
Date: November 01,2016

Taiwan’s technological expertise is leading an agricultural revival.

Beginning in July, a series of powerful typhoons battered Taiwan, affecting millions of people in a

Organic rice is grown in Lugu Township of central Taiwan’s Nantou County.

scenario that occurs each summer and fall in the East Asian nation. Typhoon Megi, which made landfall Sept. 27 in eastern Taiwan’s Hualien City, was responsible for more than NT$2.78 billion (US$85.5 million) in damage to the agricultural industry alone, not counting over NT$570 million (US$17.5 million) in losses in the fishing, forestry and livestock sectors, according to the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA). In southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County, however, a number of specially designed greenhouses weathered the storms, their structures mostly unscathed and the crops inside intact. The facilities are reinforced with steel beams and powered by solar panels that partially cover their roofs. These generate ample electricity to power atmospheric regulation and irrigation systems, with the excess sold to the national energy grid.

The construction of typhoon-defying, power-generating farming facilities is made possible through the application of practical ideas and advanced technologies designed to protect against adverse weather conditions such as cold snaps, droughts and floods, according to Lur Huu-sheng (盧虎生), a professor in the Department of Agronomy at National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei City. Lur pointed out that in five of the last 10 years, annual agricultural losses due to climate factors reached NT$10 billion (US$307.7 million). “In the face of climate change threats, embracing new technologies could turn moments of crisis into opportunities to establish a model for sustainable agricultural development,” he said.    [FULL  STORY]

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