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FA Chief Staff Interview

(I) Briefing Handout Made During the Interview

1. What social role does the Farmers’ Association play? (Chun-Hao)

In a word, the function of Farmers’ Association serves as the communicative bridge between the government and the farmers. Since the government fails to gain control over Taiwan when the administration is committed to farmers, it is the time for the Farmers’ Association to stand out and help out the government administration. The Farmers’ Association may help out with farmer’s deposit, withdrawal, or loan matters. Therefore, the Farmers’ Association is also the place to stay close to farmers. To put it simply, the association can be the best friend of farmers. The Farmers’ Association will also run a regular activity for home economics and moms’ studio classroom. It hopes that the farmers can also participate in the activity to share feelings with everybody else, and to share all techniques which may be required for cultivation. Each semester, there will be scholarship available for students who did excellent job at junior high school or elementary school in Tianwei. The association also provides large and small conference halls and a place for farmers to hold meetings. Inside the Farmers’ Association, they also open a convenience store so everyone can get whatever they need at the store for daily necessities. There are a few things you can get them cheaper than the stores outside.

2. What are the flower species mostly planted by farmers currently? (Wen-Hsiu)

Tianwei Township has highest volume of mass production for planted vegetables, flower crops, and nursery-grown plants in the garden. They also have the highest volume in flower production. Therefore, Tianwei was widely known for its reputation “the city of flowers” with a variety of species. Most planted flowers may include two categories, the chopped flowers and potted flowers. What the domestic market wanted most right now is the chopped flowers. Among them, the most planted chopped flowers were the mums’ flowers, known as the town flower, in Tianwei Township. Other flowers like Gladiolus, Flamingo, Gerbera Daisy, and Chinese Bellflower are all types of chopped flowers. The popular “Succulent Plants,” which were sold like hot cakes, are also one of them. Other potted flowers like Oncidium, Money Tree, and Cactaceae are all types of chopped flowers.

3. How to educate farmers and help them run their business to reach high quality standards with higher profitability? (Chien-Jou)

Executive Director explains how to educate farmers to run their business to reach high quality standards with higher profitability. He said the price would drop down as long as the flower production increased. Farmers’ Association is also in charge of the production and marketing group. The production and marketing group is a place for farmers to collect all their regional agro products together. They do research together to make higher production with higher quality. There are about 29 production and marketing groups so far. All of which put much emphasis on an idea — “Co-production and co-marketing”. If everyone can sync up, we can accept larger amount of orders. These “production and marketing groups” are not only founded in the Farmers’ Association. There is one production and marketing group in each flower market; the flower market is a fashion icon. People follow the trend of this era to sell different kinds of flowers. The same rule may apply to leisure agriculture. People can find a good place to spend their leisure hours at the coffee shop, light meal restaurant, or flower shop as time goes by.

4. How to do marketing to make the products exposed to Taiwan and the international world so people can know about our speciality? In that way, they would be willing to visit here and buy the products.(Pai-Chuan)

If the government wants everyone to know about our local specialities in Tianwei Township, it must know how to be more creative. To increase consumers’ willingness to purchase, the government must ensure the quality of the products, and make sure it keeps its promise. If the consumers need to ask for a replace, they would have to handle it properly. Besides, normally they will double check all products were labeled with a production resume to ensure all customers can visit the place at ease and make sure they get what they want. They would also take advantage of the internet to increase sales and consumers. Since Tianwei Township is losing young consumer group right now, the [Youth Farmers Policy] has become a very critical lesson as well!

5. Can you talk about the future development of agro business in Tianwei township and its vision? (Yu-Chi)

I hope the flower business in Tianwei Township may catch up with the international trend as soon as possible. It’s better to create a fashionable and innovative brand. We need to come up with more creative thinking to sell the products through marketing approach. Or perhaps, it may allow Tianwei to start doing the tourism business in Tianwei. If they can combine the marketing with flower business, it may allow more people to get to know Tianwei, the city of flower.

(II) Conclusion

We interviewed the Executive Director of Farmers’ Association Ms. Yang. She talked with confidence and answered all our questions in a quite simple way. The executive director said she used to study at National Changhua Girls' Senior High School. And she was teaching physics there once. I was so surprised and adored her so much all of a sudden. I think the executive director is so amazing that she can even teach physics at school. I decide to work hard and follow her example! She was very kind and invited us for a drink so each one of us had a cup of roasted barley tea.
Our team is so grateful that the Executive Director Ms. Yang could help us with this project. We believe it does help us a lot! (by Chun-Wwi)