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The Last Piece of the Puzzle in Taiwan's Organic Industry
—the Organic Seed (Seedling) Production System
Recently, food safety issues have attracted the attention of people in Taiwan. Therefore, more and more people are fond of organic agriculture,emphasizing in natural and safety of the produce. In comparison to the steadily increased organic cultivation area in Taiwan, the organic seeds (seedlings) production system has developed slowly due to the following reasons, including incomplete regulations, small demand market size, and less experience in organic seed production. To fill the technological gap in the organic industry and lay the foundation for connecting to the international organic market in the future, Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station (abbreviation as TSIPS) with the following intrinsic advantages of seed (seedling) production technique and experience, equipment, production area, and natural environment, creates industry opportunities and establishes the organic seed (seedling) production system in Taiwan on the booming international organic industry.
According to the provisions of Annex 1 of the ”Organic Agricultural Product and Organic Agricultural Processed Product Certification Management Regulations” in Article 6, the third part of the Certification Standard has clearly stated that organic seeds (seedlings) should be used preferentially. Taking EU regulations as an example, organic seed (seedling) refer to the seed produced by the mother plants grown in organic farming, or the vegetative propagating material produced by the parent plant cultivated organically. It is more difficult to produce high quality seeds (seedlings) and reduce the damage of pests in organic mode than in conventional farming. However, the organic seed production system is still not systematically established at present in Taiwan.
TSIPS is a special unit responsible for mass propagation of seeds (seedlings) to implement government's policies. This station has permanent experiment field covers 40 hectares area and 8 greenhouses for healthy foundation seed (seedling) production. Therefore, it has the basic advantages of developing the organic seed (seedling) production systems in terms of machines, facilities, and technical experiences. In recent years, TSIPS has designed a 30-hectare experimental field as the organic seed production base to implement national policies. The station has not only advantages such as broad and centralized experiment fields, mechanized farming experience, and seed processing and storage equipment,but it located in the upstream area of Baileng Canal irrigation district and has pollution-free the irrigation water source. Meanwhile,Taiwan seed potato propagation system is becoming more and more perfect under industry‐academia‐government cooperation. In order to produce G1 and G2 seed potatoes to meet the national certification standards, TSIPS has set up a high-standard greenhouses and net-houses. When the domestic potato industry is in demand for organic seed potatoes, TSIPS could supply organic seed potatoes (G2) for the production of organic potato (G3)by using its own production capacity.
The establishment of organic seed (seedling) production system is the cornerstone of organic agriculture. It symbolizes not only the important milestone of the history of organic agriculture in Taiwan, but also the last piece of the puzzle in Taiwan's organic Industry. TSIPS will continue to research this field to strive for the agricultural environmental sustainability and the link-up with global organic market in Taiwan.
▲Fig. 1 The permanent experiment field of TSIPS
▲Fig 2. The greenhouses for healthy foundation seed potatoes (G2) production