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The Importance of Agriculture in Economic Development

Question:

Discuss About The Platform Construction Between Hainan Taiwan?

Agriculture, which provides fundamental occupation, plays a vital role to develop a country’s economic conditions. Throughout the world, the Agricultural sector, which is often described as primary sector, has been influencing a country’s economic conditions for the initial stage of economic development by providing various supports, for instance, creating employment opportunities and contributions to the gross domestic income (GDP) of a country and so on (McArthur and McCord 2017). To promote the economical conditions positively, it is essential for all developing countries to provide a great attention on this sector. However, the sector does not face equal importance worldwide; especially in developing countries, where due to socio-economical and political activities the primary sector has been experiencing various complications. Thus, to understand the importance and drawbacks of agricultural sector, it is beneficial to take a developing country of Asia as an example. In this report, the chosen country is Taiwan (Chou, Wu and Huang 2017). The chief purpose of this report is to describe about the various key aspects of this specified sector and its contribution on Taiwan from socio-economical perspectives. Moreover, the report is tense to describe about the role of Green Revolution and use of modern technologies to enhance productivity in the field of agriculture. In addition to this, the report also is going to describe about some setbacks and problems of agricultural sector that Taiwan is facing presently. At the end, the report will conclude the entire discussions with some arguments related to this topic.

Agriculture has been playing the crucial role to develop a country’s economic condition for decades. With its significant economical activities, the sector has provided initial source of livelihood and contribution to national income, which are the first step for a nation to develop. In developing countries, with lack of educational structure and employment opportunities, a large portion of total population has successfully engaged themselves with different segments of agricultural production (Ducastel and Anseeuw 2017). To develop other industrial sectors, the role of primary sector, especially agricultural sector, is also very crucial as it supplies raw materials and food security to the manufacturer and industrial workers, respectively. Hence, the specified sector has successfully helped other industries to produce their products uninterruptedly, which in turn, assists the economy to increase its national income.

The agricultural industry of Taiwan, by providing food security, conservation and rural development, has provided significant opportunities to develop its socio-economic conditions of the country. Hence, the government of Taiwan has focused on this predominated economical sector with huge importance for the purpose of development, by providing various governmental policies and plans (Liang et al. 2017). To reduce the amount of imported agricultural foods, especially rice, the country, through its first and second Five Years Planning, has increased the production of that crop, which in turn, has supported the country to earn self-sufficiency. Thus, to understand the importance of agricultural sector more precisely, it is essential to discuss about the contribution of that primary sector to the economy and society of that country.

The Role of Agriculture in Taiwan’s Economic Development

After getting independence from Japan, in 1945, the government of Taiwan has implemented a long-term strategy to develop a close relationship between agricultural sectors and other industrial sectors (Kim and Heo 2017). Thus, to recover poor economic conditions of that country, the government has used this specified sector as the main instrument for the purpose reformation in its socio-economic aspects. The primary sector has included a mixture of various crops, livestock, forestry and fishery. With the help of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and following trade liberalisation, the government has introduced new policies, which in turn, has helped this primary sector to become more competitive and modernised (Wang et al. 2017). Taiwan has limited land for cultivation though those lands are intensely cultivated with more than one crop in a year. By exporting fish, grain products, canned and frozen pork and sea foods to other countries like Japan, Canada, Mainland China and so on, Taiwan has earned foreign reserves, which has helped the country to make a strong economical base. The concerned sector has adopted a “package approach”, where the government has taken simultaneous improvement from institutional, financial, technological and organisational aspects.

To understand the role of agricultural sector in this country, it is beneficial to analyse the trend of agricultural contribution to the country’s GDP (refer to appendix 1). Initially, the sector has contributed huge share to the country’s GDP and for this, the country has received huge benefits for the purpose of development. However, the trend has decreased over time due to the development of other industrial sectors. The primary sector, exclusively, has contributed around 1.69% to the country’s GDP while along with its agricultural related tourism sector; the primary sector has contributed almost 11 % to the country’s GDP (Tradingeconomics.Com 2018). The agricultural sector has attracted tourists all over the world, which in turn, has helped the country to increase its GDP. Moreover, by providing work force, financial support and trade events, the sector has been contributing significant portions to the country’s GDP since its independence. The specified sector has also influenced the country’s political conditions by its own political party, which includes agricultural farmers, namely, the Taiwan Farmers’ Party (Fell 2014). Hence, it can be stated over here that the agricultural sector has provided various supports from different aspects to develop the country’s economic conditions. Moreover, by providing employment opportunities, Taiwan has provided its citizens a better standard of livings and a strong economical base in the world market.

The Green Revolution is referred to that particular economic phenomenon, which has helped to increase the productivity of a country by applying research and new technologies during the period 1930s and 1960s. This initiative has adopted by various countries, especially developing countries to produce high-yielding varieties of crops by applying chemical fertilizers (Hirano, Ko, Ordonio and Matsuoka 2017). To produce more food articles effectively and efficiently, fertilisers have been used as one of the primary tools, for instance, nitrogen-based fertilizers has been used in most of the production process. Hence, through this revolutionary process, each country has switched their traditional production methods to the modern one. This revolution has also adopted some other scientific technologies, for instance, new irrigation methods, resistant pesticides, to produce more crops.

The Green Revolution and Modern Technologies in Taiwan’s Agriculture

Sustainability of agriculture depends steadily upon water resources, which can help agricultural products to grow efficiently. However, during the period of Green Revolution, some countries have faced water inefficiencies and drought due to pollution. At the initial phase of this revolution, most of the countries have used aquifers or surface water to irrigate agricultural lands, which sequentially has caused water scarcity (Mwangi, and Kariuki 2015). However, during this revolutionary period, new irrigation system has been introduced to protect this scarcity and to increase cultivation. For instance, by drip irrigation, it becomes possible to save water and fertilisers by dripping the water on the land (Paris 2018). Thus, to develop agricultural productions and techniques, numerous research and experiments have been conducted during the period of Green revolution. This revolution has become successful in most of the countries of Asia, while this process has remained unsuccessful in Africa due to its geographical constraints.

During the period of Green Revolution, Taiwan has played a vital role by developing the “miracle rice” IR8, by launching it launched Asia (Sternfeld 2017). In 1949, the Taichung District Agriculture Improvement Station has developed a high-yielding variety of semi dwarf indica, that is, the Taichung Native (TN1), which has significantly influenced the history of rice improvement (Ladja 2016).

After Green Revolution, it has been expected that most of the developing countries have earned huge success and self-sufficiency to produce more agricultural; products. However, this primary sector has faced various problems in recent times due to global warming and also due to changing pattern of business in the world market and as a consequence, total production of a state has decreased significantly. In most of the developing countries, climate plays a vital role for producing crops. Other activities related to agricultural sector, like fishery, also can be affected due the change of climate (Fellmann et al. 2018). However, due to global warming, climate of a nation is changing drastically and for this, growth of crops have affected adversely. For instance, due to this environmental changes, some natural phenomenon, like drought, flood and heavy rain, have hampered the productivity of crops and other agricultural activities. Thus, global warming has become one of the major issues for each country, worldwide. Moreover, the share of primary sector to the GDP is very low in developed countries compare to other sectors, that is, secondary and tertiary sectors (Tombe 2015). On the other side, most of the developing countries are also shifting their economy toward manufacturing and service sectors, to increase national income and to earn economic development. Consequently, the demand for agriculture is decreasing in those countries. In addition to this, by exporting industrial products and services, a country can earn higher amount of revenue, compare to that from agricultural sectors, which in turn, is favourable for the country’s terms of trade.

Hence, for all those consequences, the agriculture is facing various difficulties and as a remedy, government intervention is essential. To protect environmental degradation, the government can take various policies, based on which, excessive use of chemical fertilisers, ground water and surface water can be prohibited (Chabbi et al. 2017). Moreover, to promote the agricultural products in international market, the government can provide subsidies to those agro-based products, which have huge demand in international markets, like tea, rice, coffee and so on.

Challenges Faced by the Agricultural Sector in Taiwan

According to the government report of Taiwan, the country is experiencing major changes regarding the climate as the average temperature of that country is increasing significantly. Due to heavy industrialisation, the country is suffering from some major environmental problems, like acid rain, floods and droughts, which in turn, has negatively influenced the daily life Taiwan, including farmers (Havlík et al 2015). Hence, the government is encouraging them to produce fruits and vegetables, which have high value in the international market. Moreover, it can be beneficial for farmers if the government implement property insurance on agricultural land to protect them from any natural disasters (Lawry 2017). The country has also experienced some obstacles to exporting agricultural products in international market. After joining the WTO, the country has obtained opportunities to export agricultural goods in international market. The government of the country has also implemented some policies to promote agricultural business in the international market to obtain sustainable development (Wang et al. 2017). However, due to changing business strategy in international market, the country has been facing various difficulties, for instance, free trade agreement with other countries and competition in international market. Thus, except cereals, the amount of other agricultural products is decreasing over the years (Song and Gao 2018).

The country has faced a series of land reforms between 1949 and 1953, which in turn, has helped the country to develop its economical conditions subsequently (Ng?c 2015). The present political conditions in domestic and international economy have helped to implement this reform successfully.

Conclusion:

At the end of the report, it can be stated that the agricultural sector has played a major role to develop a country’s economic condition since the initial stage of development. In most of the developing countries of Asia, agriculture contributes a significant amount of its total income to the country’s GDP. Moreover, by creating employment opportunity, the sector also provides social welfare, which is true for Taiwan, as well. The impact of Green Revolution on agricultural sector is unquestionable and the specified country has also earned advantage from this. The country has also faced land reforms to protect the shelf-interests of their farmers. However, the agricultural sector of many countries, including Taiwan, is facing major problems due to climate change and competition in international market. To prevent those obstacles, governmental policies is essential.

Reference:

"Taiwan GDP From Agriculture | 1981-2018 | Data | Chart | Calendar". 2018. Tradingeconomics.Com. https://tradingeconomics.com/taiwan/gdp-from-agriculture.

Chabbi, Abad, J. Lehmann, Philippe Ciais, Henry William Loescher, Maria Francesca Cotrufo, A. Don, M. SanClements et al. "Aligning agriculture and climate policy." Nature Climate Change 7, no. 5 (2017): 307.

Chou, Rung-Jiun, Chen-Ting Wu, and Feng-Tzu Huang. "Fostering Multi-Functional Urban Agriculture: Experiences from the Champions in a Revitalized Farm Pond Community in Taoyuan, Taiwan." Sustainability 9, no. 11 (2017): 2097.

Ducastel, Antoine, and Ward Anseeuw. "Agriculture as an asset class: reshaping the South African farming sector." Agriculture and Human Values 34, no. 1 (2017): 199-209.

Fell, Dafydd. "Measuring and Explaining the Electoral Fortunes of Small Parties in Taiwan's Party Politics." Issues and Studies 50, no. 1 (2014): 153.

Fellmann, Thomas, Peter Witzke, Franz Weiss, Benjamin Van Doorslaer, Dusan Drabik, Ingo Huck, Guna Salputra, Torbjörn Jansson, and Adrian Leip. "Major challenges of integrating agriculture into climate change mitigation policy frameworks." Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 23, no. 3 (2018): 451-468.

Havlík, P., D. Leclère, H. Valin, M. Herrero, E. Schmid, J. F. Soussana, C. Müller, and M. Obersteiner. "Global climate change, food supply and livestock production systems: A bioeconomic analysis." (2015): 178-197.

Hirano, Ko, Reynante Lacsamana Ordonio, and Makoto Matsuoka. "Engineering the lodging resistance mechanism of post-Green Revolution rice to meet future demands." Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B 93, no. 4 (2017): 220-233.

Kim, Hayam, and Uk Heo. "Comparative Analysis of Economic Development in South Korea and Taiwan: Lessons for Other Developing Countries." Asian Perspective 41, no. 1 (2017): 17-41.

Ladja, Fausiah Thamrin, Sri Hendrastuti Hidayat, Tri Asmira Damayanti, and Aunu Rauf. "Responses of tungro resistant rice varieties and donor parents against five tungro virus isolates from Indonesia." Journal of ISSAAS (International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences) 22, no. 2 (2016): 18-27.

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Liang, Chaoyun, Ching Yin Ip, Shih-Chia Wu, Kris Mo Yin Law, Jiun-Hao Wang, Li-Pei Peng, and Huei-Ching Liu. "Personality traits, social capital, and entrepreneurial creativity: comparing green socioentrepreneurial intentions across Taiwan and Hong Kong." Studies in Higher Education (2017): 1-17.

McArthur, John W., and Gordon C. McCord. "Fertilizing growth: Agricultural inputs and their effects in economic development." Journal of development economics 127 (2017): 133-152.

Mwangi, Margaret, and Samuel Kariuki. "Factors determining adoption of new agricultural technology by smallholder farmers in developing countries." Journal of Economics and sustainable development 6, no. 5 (2015).

Paris, Pierluigi, Giovanni Di Matteo, Massimo Tarchi, Luca Tosi, Luciano Spaccino, and Marco Lauteri. "Precision subsurface drip irrigation increases yield while sustaining water-use efficiency in Mediterranean poplar bioenergy plantations." Forest Ecology and Management 409 (2018): 749-756.

Song, Jun, and Yanli Gao. "Innovative Design of Agricultural Cross-border E-commerce Management Platform Construction between Hainan and Taiwan." In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, vol. 113, no. 1, p. 012168. IOP Publishing, 2018.

Sternfeld, Eva. "Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China." East Asian Science, Technology and Society (2017): 3796080.

Tombe, Trevor. "The missing food problem: Trade, agriculture, and international productivity differences." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 7, no. 3 (2015): 226-58.

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Ng?c, Ph?m Bích. "Land reform in Taiwan." Economic Studies1 (2015): 54-63.

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