According to the United Nations 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects, the global population has been estimated to grow from 7.3 billion in 2015 to 9.7 billion in 2050. Food demand will continue to face increasing pressure.
However, the calorie-based food self-sufficiency rate for Taiwan was only 31.01% in 2016. Moreover, the increasingly severe weather caused by climate change is raising the risk of agricultural production, resulting in inevitable food supply shortages and high food prices.
In recent years, due to the impact of the aging and declining population in the rural areas, Taiwan's agricultural employment population has decreased by 550,000 from 730,000 in 2000 to 2016, indicating a reduction of 25%. And the population of agricultural workers over the age of 65 has also risen from 10% to 17%. Agricultural manpower is in a large shortage and the agricultural productivity is seriously affected. In 2015, the Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan estimated that nearly 110,000 agricultural workers will retire due to aging in the coming decade.
|Agricultural employment population
||Percentage of agricultural workers over the age of 65
Facing the global agricultural development trends and challenges, Taiwan is limited by the natural environment, and the cost of agricultural production is high. Under the development constraints of the local climate, environment and labor force, the structural adjustment of agricultural industry and the integration of technology research and innovation have become the opportunities for new agricultural development.
Move towards a new agricultural era of efficiency, safety and low risk
Therefore, under the foundation of current agricultural development in Taiwan, it is hoped that cross-field technologies can enhance continuous innovation, transformation, and industrial upgrade. Furthermore, through the development of smart agriculture, it is expected that farmers in the future can make production and marketing plans in response to the market. Production management based on the advanced cross-field technologies, such as information communication technology (ICT), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data analysis, and Block Chain, combining with labor-saving mechanical equipment, assistive device, and sensor…etc., can not only reduce the workload and labor demand of the farm, but also provide farmers with more efficient farm management model to produce safe, worry-free and traceable agricultural products that meet consumer needs.