To foster greater interaction among scientists at AVRDC and Taiwan Council of Agriculture-affiliated research institutes/stations, AVRDC’s Global Technology Dissemination group and Chen-yang Tai (George) from the Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station (DARES) arranged a one-day field trip to visit tomato and sweet pepper cultivation under protected structures in Taichung and Nantou on 3 September 2014. Participants from AVRDC, the DARES in Tainan, Taichung, Miaoli, Taoyuan and Hualien, as well as staff from the Taitung Agriculture Research Institute Seed Improvement and Propagation Station met area farmers and local vegetable researchers to learn more about the vegetable industry in Taiwan.
First stop: Golden Triangle Vegetables and Fruits Marketing Cooperative Ltd. The co-op was founded in 2004 in Houli Township, Taichung County, and primarily produces beefsteak tomatoes. A team of 36 staff members work in greenhouses covering about 4.2 hectares. The co-op uses microbag culture and a drip irrigation system to precisely control cultivation conditions to reach the planned production targets. The bright red “Sunshine Tomato” variety produced by the co-op is sweet and juicy.
Second stop: Puli Pepper Production Cooperative Ltd., Puli Township, Nantou County. The major crop is sweet pepper, grown on an area of about 3 hectares. The cooperative uses substrate culture and a fertigation system to reduce crop disease, monitor the fertilizer in the medium, and produce a good quality pepper. The co-op has developed an automatic irrigation system and uses a power-lift electric car for harvest to reduce labor costs.