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Seriously? The first verified organic seed processing plant is at Xinshe, Taichung!
With the 'Organic Agriculture Promotion Act' implementing, the issue about organic seeds, which is one of the difficult parts in organic agriculture, has been discussed again. Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station of COA (TSIPS) actively collected opinions from agricultural experts. In August 6th 2020, the seed processing plant of TSIPS first got the certification of organic agricultural product.
Organic seeds have been seldom used in Taiwan until now and it becomes the key point that we need to improve harder. For the development of organic seeds, TSIPS held forums and invited experts to discuss related issues in 2017 and 2019. TSIPS also visited many organic farmers to understand the difficulty and to explore feasible solutions. Because organic paddy rice is the main crop and organic soybean is a developing crop encouraged by government, TSIPS improved the environment of the seed processing plant and operating procedures for both organic paddy rice and organic soybean in order to fulfil the organic regulations. Then, TSIPS submitted a verification application to the agricultural products approval and certification center of National Chung Hsing University and became Taiwan’s first verified organic seed processing plant.
TSIPS Director Ting-Lin Chang said, ‘there are different difficulties on different crops.’ Director Chang also indicated with an example of organic paddy rice, ‘although there have been disinfection techniques for paddy seeds and soil for organic paddy rice, those costs a lot and are hard to be popular as well as there are other pathogens source such as seedling fields which is also a big problem to make poor seedlings. Especially on the abovementioned issue, TSIPS held a ‘consensus meeting for promoting organic seed industry on paddy rice’ and related seminars with farmers to collect various opinions. In the future, the specific measures of using organic seeds still need to be studied by agriculture research units, farmers and experts to strengthen the organic agriculture industry in Taiwan will be developed.