The Council of Agriculture (COA) held a press conference entitled “Achievement of Young farmers: The New Emerging Power in the Internet Era” on Jan. 8, inviting outstanding young local farmers from Taitung to share their experiences of entering the rural industry and how they developed their businesses through e-commerce. Thanks to the e-commerce platform, sales of their agricultural products reached NT$ 6 million within just a few months, which set a record and highlighted the powerful influence of e-commerce.
COA Minister Chen Bao-ji stated that the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB) worked closely with e-commerce suppliers and opened a new blue ocean market for outstanding young local farmers in Taitung. Furthermore, the SWCB has also compiled the first book that combines agriculture, young farmers, and e-commerce entitled "Internet Era for Young Farmers". The book contains brief principles of e-commerce application and successful domestic and abroad case studies. It aims to inspire more young farmers so they can create new opportunities for the industry.
Three young farmers were invited to share their experiences in the press conference. By applying enterprise management concepts, the owner of Qingliang Ecological Farm, Lee Qi-jun transformed the organic eco-farm he had inherited from his father into the first agro-business to receive the Tse-Xin Organic Certification in Taitung. In addition to promoting his products in markets, he also utilizes e-commerce to sell his homemade sesame-oil ginger and turmeric powder which has generated revenues of over NT$ 1 million.
Lin Yi-ye and Director General of Taitung's Dachu Community Crops Production and Marketing Group Chang Chin-fu, sought consensus among the local community to promote the traditional crops of Paiwan Tribe such as red quinoa and millet. Take the red quinoa as an example: yield of the season was sold out completely during its first online sale in 2015 and became a popular product that attracted many retailers' attention. Due to this extremely popular demand, the cultivation area had to be expanded to more than twice the original size this year.
After completing his studies abroad, Lo Yung-chang from Chenghsin Community in Taitung County returned to his hometown and realized that production, management, and sales must be closely connected with each other. He studied the product differentiation between homegrown Chihshang rice and commercial rice. He then proceeded to create the brand Origin with a perfect mix ratio of white, brown and black rice, which attracted and formed a group of loyal customers on the e-commerce platform.
The remote rural area of Taitung County has successfully marketed its agricultural products to metropolitan cities through e-commerce and gave birth to a new emerging power comprised of young farmers in the internet era. This is a trend that would take over Taiwan in the future and assist more farmers to expand their agricultural blue ocean.