We met two part-time farmers who have their own lucrative main businesses during our trip to Central Taiwan (Taichung, Nantou and Changhua) from May 28 to June 1, 2019. One of them is Lin Jui-Wen whose family operates the Vienna Pleasance Cottage in the tourist area of Cing Jing in Nantou county. Nantou is high up there in the mountains which is the only place in Taiwan that snows. The vacation facilities at Vienna are earning good income for the family but Lin Jui-Wen simply loves farming which is also profitable.
He has a six-hectare farm where he grows tea, plum and kiwi. He says that kiwi has been most profitable for him last year. He harvested 120 tons of kiwi which he sold at PNT$220 per kilo which translates to more than P50 million in Philippine money. He has only 7 permanent farm workers performing various chores in his farm. In the Vienna Cottage lodging facilities, six employees are helping the couple and their daughter in the daily operations. A son is in Japan managing a hotel.
ORGANIC ARABICA COFFEE GROWER – Chiu Chiao-Amiao has a lucrative furniture business in Taiwan and Malaysia but he simply loves farming so that about ten years ago, he bought a 9-acre property inTaichung at a very high price. That’s where he grows organic Arabica coffee and various organic vegetables.
He admits that the furniture business is much more profitable than farming but farming can be very fulfilling. He is very proud of his Arabica coffee that he grows the organic way. Last season, he was able to harvest 8,000 kilos of Arabica beans which he himself processed and which he sells online. He gets the equivalent of P1,500 per kilo of ground coffee.
What’s he is most proud of is that he pays his 25 farm workers well. Three of them are from Thailand who are paid US$1,200 each per month.
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