Zeng Shu Yi, born on September 28 1953, is the Director-General of Ren Shoufeng Farmers Association of Hualien. She also declared participating in 2014 Shoufong mayor elections. 10 years ago she had already promoted Hualien toxic-free organic agriculture. Once she said: “It is her biggest wish to let Taiwan people eat healthy organic agricultural products.” It shows her passion for toxic-free agriculture.
The initiation of the idea of toxic-free agriculture
In 1991, Zeng Shu Yi met Dr. Huang Dazhong in a seminar. At that time, Dr. Huang Dazhong was also promoting the ideas of healthy, toxin-free agricultural in Hualien. With the enlightenment and suggestions from Dr. Huang Dazhong, Zeng Shu Yi decided not to use fertilizers and herbicides in farming in order to protect the land and health of Hualien residents. Under the guidance of Dr.Huang , she took the first step towards the success toxic-free farming. Therefore, Huang Dazhong is definitely an important person to Zeng Shuyi.
On the other hand, due to the use of herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, it increased the burdens on soil. Therefore, the crops do not have enough vitality and nutrition, affecting the public health. At the same time, non-contaminated agricultural lands were unable to be found in western Taiwan. So Zeng Shuyi thinks she had the responsibility to protect the lands in Shoufeng Township where it is the province’s largest plain township with clean water quality and non-contaminated soil. So it is her initiation to promote the idea of toxin-free agricultural framing.
In addition, with the support of mayor of Hualien the Department of Agriculture Director Du Lihua, they led the “toxin-free agricultural group” to cooperate with the farmers, so Zeng gets more support in developing toxin-free agricultural farming.
Many people start questioning and teasing the effectiveness of toxin-free agriculture. In addition, there are small number of employees humbled about the toxin-free development, therefore, it created a feeling of loneliness and frustration to Zeng Shu Yi. Also the lack of capital, facitlites and organic agricultural production technology became great problems in developing toxin-free agriculture. On the other hand, farmers were used to traditional farming, using herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers in production process, which were more convenient and efficient than organic farming. Therefore, farmers always lack of interest in toxin-free agriculture because of the high production cost of organic farming. For consumers, they were only care about the appearance of fruits and vegetables, but they did not have a concept about toxic-free and organic farming. So it is very difficult for Zeng to educate the farmers and consumers. However, Zeng never gives up until success.
Contributions to the development of non-toxic
From toxic-free watermelon planting to setting up an organic vegetable park, toxin free agricultural products, including vegetables, pears, watermelons, bananas and corn, etc. become a brand image of toxin-free agriculture in Haulien. On the other hand, it uses natural enemy to control pests and cultivates the farms by natural methods. Zeng Shuyi also applied for 400 million to provide more facilitates, including greenhouses and equipment. Finally she won the national outstanding agricultural staff in 2012.
Food is the most basic requirement for human needs. The healthier of the land, the healthier we are. Therefore, toxic-free agriculture not only allows people to eat healthy, but also sets a model to farm environmentally friendly. Due to her love to Taiwan, she insists in practicing toxin-free agriculture in order to protect Hualien, this last piece of non-contaminated land in Taiwan, and let Taiwanese eat healthily.
Written by Lee Long Yung