Since taking over the post of Director General of Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park (“ATP”) after my departure as Director General of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine in June 2016, I have been assertive in shouldering responsibilities for continuing upgrading of the park's various facilities and recruiting business investments to exert the power of industry clusters. Furthermore, by using the comparative advantage of Taiwan's premium value-added processing products and key technologies, in combination with system integration, turnkey solution, and aftersale services and guidance from the “New Agriculture, and New Southbound Policy”, we will focus on exploring markets in Southeast Asia, etc. to create new opportunities for Taiwan's agricultural technology.
Industry Clusters, Connecting Globally
Since ATP was founded in 2006, the hard work of previous leaders and cooperation among industry, government, and academia has led 106 companies to station in the park with total investments worth NTD 10.576 billion and more than 90% land utilization. In 2014, the Executive Yuan approved the “Agricultural Biotechnology Park Expansion Project” to budget NTD 3.52 billion and expand 165.41 hectares of land onto the park's northeast side. Major construction to increase the park's operation functions establishes advantages for industries to attract even more premium agricultural companies to the park. The clustering of industries provides benefits to elevate the international visibility of Taiwan's agricultural technology products.
Cultivating Breeds with Creativity and Innovation
ATP constructed the Yai-Tai Aquaculture Center with planning for an aquaculture area to breed and rear ornamental fish. The aquatic animal biosecurity control system implemented for breeding aquatic animals, with assistance from the stationed relevant departments such as Pingtung Station of Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI), etc., to monitor diseases, has resulted in a clean environment for animals. Since implementation in July of 2014, it has effectively prevented aquatic animal diseases from entering the park; in addition, previous diseases screening required 7 working days but has now been shortened to less than 72 hours, greatly improving the international competitiveness of the ornamental fish industry. In the future, ATP will strive to coordinate with governing agencies to utilize innovative operation models to allow the importation of more than 1,200 types of ornamental aquatic animals into the park for breeding, transshipping and value-added export. Combining with the breeding and key mass production technologies of domestic aquaculture companies, we will expand the scale of ornamental fish exports and improve our nation's competitiveness in aquaculture.
Progression of Industry Cultivation
ATP has strived to improve the cultivation of corporate talents in agriculture by planning and constructing the “Industry Talent Training Center”, a 4,380-ping (14,479m2) building with 4 stories and 1 underground floor. ATP has a future plan to contract the facility to private companies for management through OT-method and provide governments and private agencies a venue for staff training in addition to services such as conference room rental, travel accommodations, product sales, and dining. This will be integrated with the park's current living facilities at Fortune Mall for even more comprehensive living functions. This is linked to the park's tourism factories, constructing Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park into a talent training center in southern Taiwan, hosting international conference, and providing a recreational, intellectual, and healthy LOHAS base to attract excellent domestic and foreign companies to move in.
Adding Value to the Agriculture Industry, Progressing into Global Markets
Taiwan's agricultural industry has outstanding key technologies and research capabilities in areas such as breeding, cultivation, processing, extraction, storage, and transport. The industry transformations brought by agricultural technologies will create new value for agriculture. In addition to advising the agricultural technology industry for stable growth, the park understands that in the wake of globalization and free trade, strengthening the competitiveness of industries is an urgent issue. To resolve the issue of insufficient warehouse storage, a new 4-story with 4.320-ping (14,281m2) building for room temperature storage was constructed. It will be integrated with the existing Feiyu Hall of the park as the park's logistics center with an import/export warehouse, warehouse space, and international transshipment center, and be contracted to a logistic company for operation. This will consolidate warehouse, customs, transport, inspection, and the quarantine, the so called one-stop services, and provide companies in the park with a “Global Delivery Center” in the future as well as customs services for surrounding companies in the supply chain to increase their volume.
In addition, in order to ensure the on-arrival quality and extend the shelf life for the produce like banana, pineapple, dragon fruit, onion, and cabbage etc. and to increase the competitiveness for international market, the Executive Yuan has approved a budget of NTD 600 million to build up one tailor-made export-oriented international cold chain logistic center ranged 31,500 m2 during 2019-2020 as the Southern Taiwan flagship cold chain logistic center with the function of post-harvest precooling, cold chain storage, processing, packaging to ensure the on-arrival product quality and help adjust the supply & demand of fruit and vegetables and stabilize the market.
In order to provide a solution for air freight requirements, the park will apply for constructing an “air transport terminal” for absorbing goods in and around the park area to shorten customs clearance times for air freight. Additionally, the park will continue to coordinate with governing agencies to breakthrough legislative obstacles and obtain licenses for diverse raw material sources and import countries as well as comply with new agricultural policies to rebrand Taiwan's high-tech agriculture industry, expand product diversity, technical services, and business opportunities in foreign markets.
Human-Centric, Environment Sustainability
Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park combines the aspects of biotechnology, production, lifestyle, ecosystem, and life. The development principles of green, sustainability, and eco-friendly give us a strong sense of mission in protecting our ecosystems. The park's total area (including land expansion) is approximately 398.41 hectares, of which 75.97 hectares being designated for use as green space or detention ponds, a number that is far higher than legally mandated standards. When combined with green landscaping and compound planting, this provides an excellent habitat for birds, insects, and plants in addition to reducing impact on the ecosystem. The companies introduced into the park add their production value through agricultural technology, supporting services, and must comply with the Wildlife Conservation Act by prohibiting the use of toxic chemical pesticides. Each year, seminars on environmental education are held to improve the environmental ethics and responsibilities of companies to establish the park as a green ecosystem relying both on economic development and environmental sustainability.