Two groups of Taiwan youth agricultural ambassadors will visit Indonesia and the Philippines, respectively, Sept. 10-16 as part of government efforts to foster closer exchanges with the nations under the New Southbound Policy, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Each comprised of 15 university students specializing in agricultural fields, the teams are scheduled to meet with local officials; visit farms, produce wholesalers and Taiwan-owned businesses; observe halal certification procedures and Taiwan-backed cooperation projects; and take part in educational and research exchanges with academics and counterparts.
Among the locations that the Philippines delegation is set to visit are the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development under the Department of Science and Technology, and the International Rice Research Institute headquartered in the city of Los Banos. The Indonesia delegation is expected to meet with officials including Ministry of Agriculture Secretary-General Hari Priyono as well as tour Bogor Agricultural University in West Java province.
MOFA Deputy Minister Paul Wen-liang Chang said Sept. 5 that agriculture promotion forms a core component of President Tsai Ing-wen’s two major economic revitalization and national development policies—the five-plus-two innovative industries initiative and the New Southbound Policy.
The exchange program will bolster local youths’ understanding of the markets and policies of Indonesia and the Philippines, paving the way for increased agricultural collaboration between Taiwan and the two emerging Southeast Asian nations, he added.
Launched in June, the Young Agricultural Ambassadors New Southbound Policy Exchange Program is co-organized by the MOFA and Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture. The initiative offers Taiwan tertiary students of agriculture, aquaculture, animal husbandry and forestry the opportunity to visit New Southbound Policy target countries with the goal of cultivating academic, business and cultural exchanges in related areas.
The 30 inaugural participants are aged 18-35 and hail from 14 cities and counties nationwide. According to the MOFA, the agricultural youth ambassadors have academic and practical experience in fields spanning fruit, rice and tea farming as well as aquaculture sectors including fish fry and fingerling production. In addition, several participants have been recognized by the COA as model fishermen or featured on the council’s list of 100 promising young farmers.