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Taiwan’s Revolutionary Technology for Agriculture and Livestock Industry

The applications of smart technology for agriculture, fishery and livestock industry would be one of the keys to technology improvement and transformation for the industry. As smart technologies are widely applied to different areas in our society, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) promoted the “Applications of Smart Technology to Agricultural Production” Project Plan for levering up the power of domestic research and development in this new field.

The project started with applied research to accumulate novel knowledge and advanced technology and moved on to an integrated application for benefiting the whole domestic industry. The research team of the Department of Animal Science and Technology at National Taiwan University (NTU) with researchers specialised in animal nutrition, microbiology, production management and waste processing/utilisation to work on precise nutrition and microbiological products to reduce manure and odour production in the operation, real-time monitoring the status inside the pig house as well as animal health, and effective waste processing and energy use to develop an overall program for environment and animal friendly.

The government values and promotes domestic pig production, but has to take good care of the impact on our environment and quality of life for people and animals due to their operation. Pig farms have been complained about by neighbours for their wastewater and odour, especially in the high temperature and humid weather, limited arable land and water resources, and high residential density in Taiwan. Hence, the research team works on different aspects toward the practical needs of the pig industry and based on their long-term research foundation.

The team organised research items for different stages of pig production to increase the management and production efficiency for pig operation by revolutionary technology in the agriculture and livestock industry. The research team utilised different smart technologies with precise nutrition diet and additive, probiotics for promoting health, wastewater processing, raising environment monitoring and management, big data analysis to solve an important issue: reduction of waste and odour, as well as maintain pig production efficiency and animal health.

For effective reduction of odour materials in pig manure, this project utilises essential oils as an additive, protein content reduced in the diet, and exogenous enzyme added into high fibre diet to regulate precise nutrition with in-vivo and in-vitro evaluation systems. The team also developed precise microbial agents applied to pig production for improving growth performance, reducing manure odour and harmful flora, increasing pork quality, and levering up the profit margin of pig production.

A smart waste processing and biogas facility was built to make waste and biogas processing operation automatically, intelligently and precisely under remote control and monitoring to save manpower and cost. The research has shown promising results in smart-farming, a set of sensor and image systems has been implemented to monitor the reduction of odour and animal health with data analyses. It integrates these smart facilities with operation conditions on the farm, precise nutrition and microbial agent programs to build up the optimal model for the pig farm.

Taiwan has been focusing on developing tech solutions for sustainability such as creating sustainable green parks. As reported by OpenGov Asia, Technology Industrial Parks in Taiwan have been dedicated to promoting energy and water-saving counselling and green electricity construction.

In response to the negative impacts of climate change, major global supply chains have successively announced a carbon neutrality target. Suppliers are required to jointly respond as well and must implement environment-related sustainable technological programmes.

As all the resources in the world are limited, the only way to make the industry and ecology sustainable is to make the most effective use of limited resources, saving energy resources and developing renewable energy, and inventing green technologies.

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