Analysis of Farmers' Acceptance of the Fallow Land Subsidy Policy and Farmland Lease Program in Taiwan
In recent years, Taiwan's agricultural authorities have adopted numerous agricultural policies to adjust the production scale, rejuvenate the labor force and increase farmers' income, such as guaranteed-price purchasing of rice, a fallow land subsidy, land diversion program, contract farming award, elderly farmer pension, assistance for production and distribution, farmland bank (farmland lease), small-landowners big-tenants program, fallow land reactivation program, wandervogel and gardeners plan, farmers' school etc. However, the effectiveness of agricultural policies and farmers' satisfaction with them have rarely been discussed in the literature. This study attempts to use a face to face questionnaire survey to measure the effectiveness of the agricultural policies from the viewpoints of farmers' willingness to participate and their satisfaction. Special attention is paid both to finding significant factors that affect the farmers' willingness to participate in the fallow land subsidy policy and to measuring farmers' willingness to accept the farmland lease program.
The empirical results show that, on average, farmers are satisfied with the agricultural subsidies program. The small-landowners big-tenants program has the highest satisfaction score, and the guaranteed-price purchasing program for rice has the lowest satisfaction score. In addition, farmers who live in northern, central and southern Taiwan, are over 65 years old, and have low family income have higher probability of participation in the set-aside subsidy program. Those farmers with a university degree or above, or higher agriculture/household income ratio have lower willingness to participate in the fallow land subsidies program. On the assessment of farmland lease policy, farmers living in central or southern Taiwan, males, those with total cultivated area of more than 4 hectares, or who received more government subsidies, are more willing to lease farmland; farmers over 71 years old, who farm total area of 1 hectare or less, or who have inherited their farmland are less willing to lease farmland. On average, farmers are willing to accept a minimum rental fee of about NT$ 30,598 each period per hectare.