Sibao farmers sow seeds of Taiwan’s organic revolution

Sibao (西寶), a community in the eastern foothills of the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan, has transformed itself into the nation’s first completely organic farming town through its five-year collaboration with Taroko National Park.

The feat was made possible by the Tse-xin Organic Agriculture Foundation, which was commissioned by the park to dedicate 6.7 hectares of farmland exclusively to organic produce. Under the initiative, seven of the eight households in the small village in Hualien County’s Sioulin Township  are practicing sustainable agriculture.

through organic farming — which employs crop rotation, composting and biological rather than synthetic pest control methods — Sibao residents have forged a more harmonious relationship with nature. 13 households in Sibao are now participating in the project, which was launched in 2010, after it was extended to three neighboring villages in Sioulin.

To date, nine households covering 10 hectares of farmland have been certified organic. Organic farming contributes to greater biodiversity and a healthier environment, as well as helping farmers enjoy their work more

Eco-friendly farming practices have also been a boom to wildlife in the Sibao area. The village is now home to 13 species of mammals, eight of reptiles, five of amphibians and 46 of birds, including five of the nation’s 12 types of owls.

As Sibao continues its organic awakening, its next mission is to maintain the biodiversity that this has brought about.

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