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History of Irrigation in Taiwan
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Introduction of Irrigation Associations
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Part I: Introduction

"Farmland irrigation career", also called farmland irrigation and drainage career, covers three major function in production, ecology, and livelihood. It is a vital business for sustainable agricultural management. Farmland irrigation is a vital link in agriculture and there is an inseparable relationship between them.

The establishment of "Farmland Irrigation Association", usually called as "Irrigation Association" (IA), is based on the guideline of government's "farmland irrigation career". Irrigation Association together with "Farmer's Association", "Fisherman's Association", are three major farmer's civil groups in Taiwan. A healthy farmer's organization can contribute to agricultural development and farmer's welfare. It is also a cornerstone for the stability of farm villages. Irrigation Associations are under government's supervision and assistance, cope with agriculture policy to promote farmland irrigation operation and management. So that it can ride on the adjustment of agriculture production structure and sustainable development of agriculture, and actually take care of farmers' welfare. It means that the duties of Irrigation Associations are to serve for farmers. It is closely related to farmland utilization and agriculture management.

After the central government relocated in Taiwan, the preparation and promotion of irrigation policy and strategy, irrigation technical research, and irrigation engineering construction are set up and promoted by Sino-American Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction, Council of Agricultural Development (both were the former central agriculture unit), and Council of Agriculture. It made the farmland irrigation matched the need of agricultural development. Since Irrigation Associations are vital links in agriculture, and in order to unify the power of Irrigation Associations and agriculture, a bill was passed in 1986, to transfer the central government's jurisdiction on farmland Irrigation Association to Council of Agriculture. Meanwhile, it also passed the amendment bill of  "General Regulations on Organization of Irrigation Associations" on February, 1993. It officially inaugurates "Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan" as the central government's supervising office to Irrigation Associations. This action completely reunited irrigation and agriculture as one unit, and can best utilize the agricultural resources. It can also guarantee the production of food and benefit to the nature ecology, which combines the functions of production, ecology and living of farmland irrigation into one body.


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