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Date: 2017/5/26

“Eat Eco-Friendly”: NTU Students Crowdfund to Promote Eco-Agriculture

On May 10, the Creativity and Entrepreneurship Program (CEP) of National Taiwan University (NTU) held a press conference at the Social Enterprise Hub in Daan District to announce the initiation of the “Eat Eco-Friendly” (EEF) Crowdfunding Project. Among the invited guests were CEP’s CEO Prof. Ching-Hsuan Lin (林晉玄), Director-General Prof. Shao-Yi Chien (簡韶逸), NTU Department of Agronomy Prof. Hua-Jen Kuo (郭華仁), Fcare Founder Eric Lin (林富裕), and Earth Friend Organic’s Manager Da-Yu Wang (王大玉).

The press conference was opened by CEP’s CEO Prof. Lin, who introduced the program’s initial missions and operational framework. After a year of experience in project implementation, CEP students formed the CEP Student Association, and launched a social project in the following year to develop a stronger sense of mission and a higher level of concern for society and environment. This time, by launching the EEF Project, CEP students intend to pass a message to consumers that agriculture is not only about the quality of agricultural products, but more importantly about the land on which we stand.

In the conference, Fcare founder Mr. Lin introduced the current state of Taiwan’s agriculture and the concept of eco-agriculture. For the public in Taiwan, agriculture tends to be the most relevant yet least concerned topic. Agriculture is the source of everyday food, but few people are directly connected to it. “Rural areas in Taiwan have great potentials, so the point is how to engage more people,” said Lin. Currently, the public is more familiar with the certification system than with eco-agriculture. However, what matters more to consumers and the environment is whether pesticides harmful to land are in use or not. Lin concluded that, compared with using certification marks, improving ecological conservation through farmers and farming methods will benefit more people in the future.

Prof. Kuo described Taiwan’s current agricultural model as under intensive care. Because of dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the usual practices of agriculture in Taiwan will be impacted by the increasing price of petroleum. This situation highlights the importance of eco-agriculture.

Currently, the certification system is practiced in Taiwan because consumers do not have a direct access to farmers. This project aims to provide this access for consumers and businesses, as well as organize activities like today’s to call for more support for eco-agricultural methods. Prof. Kuo added that supporting eco-agriculture will benefit not only farmers who opt for eco-friendly methods, but also our own health and the overall environmental health of Taiwan.

General Coordinator Wei-An Hsieh introduced the cause and implementation of the overall project, describing the project as an occasion to change consumers and then the overall agricultural environment. Consumers tend to judge the value of food by its appearance and certification marks without paying much attention to production processes and eco-agriculture. To address this problem, this project has interviewed more than 30 farmers and recorded their stories as well as other production and marketing-related information for the public.

This project initiates a 40-day crowdfunding campaign. It aims to raise NTD 200,000 in the first phase, and there will be other milestones to reach in the future. Donors will receive a gift package that includes a book about eco-agriculture published by the project, a family-size box of vegetables, products involving farmer collaboration, and a farm scenery calendar. Asked of why they choose to crowdfund, Hsieh replied, “It takes more than a small group of students to solve social problems, and it takes more than six months to make real improvements. That’s why we hope to engage more people to make changes together.”

*Click HERE to visit the EEF crowdfunding page.

  • Power tiller in Guanshan, Taitung

    Power tiller in Guanshan, Taitung

  • Fcare founder Eric Lin introducing the concept of eco-agriculture

    Fcare founder Eric Lin introducing the concept of eco-agriculture

  • Prof. Kuo

    Prof. Kuo from the NTU Department of Agronomy discussing the downsides of certification systems and the importance of eco-agriculture in the future

  • Shells of water caltrops from Guantian, Tainan

    Shells of water caltrops from Guantian, Tainan

  • Farmer transplanting rice seedlings in Yilan

    Farmer transplanting rice seedlings in Yilan

  • Eco-agricultural gifts for donors

    Eco-agricultural gifts for donors

  • Group photo

    Group photo

  • Group photo

    Group photo

  • Project team member cooking in a kitchen

    Project team member cooking in a kitchen

  • Attending VIPs (left to right: Prof. Chien, Prof. Kuo, Ms. Wang, and Mr. Lin)

    Attending VIPs (left to right: Prof. Chien, Prof. Kuo, Ms. Wang, and Mr. Lin)

  • General Coordinator Hsieh introducing the cause and content of the EEF Crowdfunding Project

    General Coordinator Hsieh introducing the cause and content of the EEF Crowdfunding Project

  • General Coordinator Hsieh introducing the team’s book about eco-agriculture

    General Coordinator Hsieh introducing the team’s book about eco-agriculture

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