Monday, July 26, 2010

Dapu farmland seizures

The Dapu farmland seizures that have featured prominently in the news for the past fortnight once again highlight the government's apparent crusade to ensure their corporate pals get whatever they desire and to hell with anyone or thing that stands in the way.

The seizure of farmland and private land is nothing new in Taiwan. It was done for the Hushan Dam project and they're doing it for the Central Science Park. Often, even if they don't actually seize the land, farms in close proximity to industrial developments fall victim to pollution contaminating fields and turning once productive agricultural land into toxic weed beds.

The seizure of farmland destroys rural communities. Their way of life perishes. Apart from the destruction of rural communities and the social problems this brings as members of agricultural communities are forced to find a new way of life in an urban environment where their skills are not valued or seen as useful; we should also be questioning the wisdom of reducing the nation's agricultural output in a period when food security should be a major concern of the government. With the impact that global warming will have on international food production and with China squeezing Taiwan out of the international arena at every opportunity, should we really be seizing farmland to build industrial complexes that will increase Taiwan's carbon footprint and offer only unsustainable short-term economic benefit usually to only a select few?

What follows is a list of several articles that have appeared in the media concerning the issue of the seizure of farmland for so-called industrial development.

Now is the right time for major land reform

EDITORIAL : Taiwan lacks food security strategy

Land seizure comes under fire

Wu offers Dapu farmers new farmland

Rice fields outside the Presidential Office

Government must stop seizing our farmland

Farmers fail to meet president

Also see:
Farm seizures: Siangsiliao farmers fight to save their community

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