Last spring, I was offered a compensation package of NT$10,000 to abandon my paddy after it had already been planted, this hardly qualifies as a fat cheque! [/quote]
Certainly, that is grossly inadequate for a paddy or field that’s already been planted. When an unexpected emergency arises and a fallow-field program needs to be introduced at short notice, the compensation should of course cover all the farmer’s costs plus a good bit on top (at least equal to the value of his labour). But this year there’s no excuse for leaving it until so late. (There wasn’t much excuse last year either, but…er… we’re none of us too surprised by the endless litany of government inactivity, foot-dragging, inability to anticipate and deal with problems before they arise, etc.) This time round, an appropriate fallow-field program should be implemented early enough to avoid wasted labour and expenditure by the farmers, and then relatively modest compensation payments should suffice. It’s not the idea of a fallow-field and compensation approach that’s wrong, but if it is poorly devised and implemented, that cannot be excused.
Chung, are you that fellow who is running an organic farm on Yangmingshan? If so, keep up the excellent work, and may you prosper and your influence spread far and wide.