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Eco-friendly farming

Carbon sequestration of green manure

          The main sources of GHG emissions of the Food and Agriculture Industry are from the “rice planting” and “crop residue burning” on the farmland, and the “agricultural soil”, “lime treatment”, and “urea application” for soil fertilization. Among them, the “agricultural soil” in soil fertilization accounts for the highest proportion of emissions.

          In common agricultural practices, chemical fertilizers with fast effectiveness are widely used. However, it is just because of the variety of elements in chemical fertilizers that the remaining components may change the soil physicochemical properties after long-term accumulation. These remaining components can even go into the aquaculture fishery or domestic water from the irrigation and drainage systems, causing water pollution. The so-called green manure crops refer to any plant that can be directly or indirectly used as fertilizers or soil improvement for having the functions of increasing soil nutrients, organic matter, improving soil physicochemical properties, and reducing soil erosion. The specific effect of green manure is detailed in the following.

Improve soil physiochemical nature
The green manure crops are cultivated to be incorporated into the soil while still green, and when their cellulose, lignin, and other substances that are difficult to compose are combined with the soil clay particles to form soil colloidal composites after humification, the soil temperature and soil buffer capacity are improved. 
Promote the activity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil
Green manure residues (organic substances) can provide microorganisms with nutrients and energy, balance soil microbial populations, reduce and avoid the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria, and increase crop disease resistance. 
Covering soil
The main roots of leguminous green manure crops go deep into the soil layer, and the organic matter in the roots and plant residues have the function of cementing soil that can consolidate the soil and accumulate water and nutrient in the soil.
Reduce the occurrence of pests and diseases
Green manure crops can change the composition of organic matter in the rhizosphere soil to maintain a stable ecosystem and increase the activity of soil microorganism, reducing the pathogenic bacteria or pests population in soil, and the problem of soil sickness can be improved, the toxic substances can be decomposed , and the accumulation of toxic substances in the soil can be reduced. 
Enhance the water contention capacity of soil and improve the drought resistance of crops
Humus is loose and porous hydrophilic colloid that can absorb a large amount of water and improve soil permeability so as to provide crops with more effective water.
Reduce pollution from pesticide and heavy metal
Brown humic acid enables the increased solubility of some pesticides remained in soil, such as DDT, triazine, etc., and it can accelerate their leaching. In addition, it can also produce water-soluble complexes with certain metal ions to allow toxic metal ions to be discharged from the soil with water, reducing the harm to the crops and pollution to the soil.

          TSC has a vast planting area of sugarcane, making it an indispensable carbon pool. The Sugar Business Division also plants leguminous crops such as Dhainchab and Sun Hemp after the harvest of sugarcane and before the planting period. The nitrogen fixation characteristics of legumes can reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers afterwards, beneficial to the reduction of GHG emissions. During 2022/2023, the total planting area of green manure crops totals 444.28 hectares (241.96 hectares in Shanhua Plant and 202.32 hectares in Huwei Plant).

Promotion of Organic Cultivation

          Organic farming is an environmentally friendly and sustainable model for agricultural production. Starting from 2000, TSC has strictly selected high-quality farms as organic rice cultivation bases. In addition to actively develop our own organic crop cultivation zones, we also continue the trial planting and mass production of economic crops. In 2022, the self-operated organic rice certification area reached 88.79 hectares (also used to plant other organic crops). The main market includes schools & group meals, convenience stores and chain channels. In recent years, to assist the government with the promotion of the new agricultural policy of organic farming, TSC has started to release its self-operated organic farming areas and cultivation land for lease from 2020. As of the end of December 2022, the Company has provided the government 272 hectares (12 cases) of leased land for the establishment of a special zone for organic agriculture.

          As the domestic organic agriculture and eco-friendly farming increase rapidly every year, the goal of 15,000 hectares set by the Council of Agriculture was reached in 2020. Considering the policy of promoting the area of organic agriculture has achieved its phased goal and that the organic agriculture operated by a state-run enterprise is not favorable in market competition, TSC therefore released the land and equipment of three self-operated organic parks (with a total area of 12.99 hectares) in Douliu, Shanhua, and Guantian in June and September, 2022, for young farmers to station in these parks to support them in a cooperative production model. The young farmers are in charge of producing agricultural products while TSC is in charge of the marketing.

          After the trial operation for one year, it is evaluated to lease the organic farmland, greenhouse facilities, packaging rooms, and refrigeration equipment, etc. to professional farmers or agricultural enterprises or groups, so that those who are interested in engaging in organic agriculture or those lessees who intend to expand organic agricultural production can rapidly engage in the production of organic fruits and vegetables. TSC will cooperate with the government’s new agricultural policy in the leasing model to continue supporting the promotion and cultivation of organic agriculture.

          In 2022, an organic granary was established on the 197.3-hectare Maguang Farm, Huwei Township, Yunlin County. It is roughly divided into 92.9 hectares of open-air farming area and 42.9 hectares of plastic structure cultivation, and the rest belong to public facilities, which boosts the local organic agriculture and attracts young farmers to return to their hometowns to prosper and revitalize the rural villages. In addition, National Formosa University was invited to for cooperation, making it the largest organic grain production zone in Taiwan.

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