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Trash can also become gold! Pingtung Circular Hub assists farmers to reutilize agricultural wastes 
Publish Date:2020-04-01    
Pingtung County Government and Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) cooperate to, themed on “circular economy”, build “Pingtung Circular Hub” at Taisugar Civic Park. By guiding local farmers and food processing manufacturers to innovate their technology, the Hub makes it possible to reutilize agricultural products out of the market standards and agricultural wastes from the processing; and further enhance their added values and turn agricultural wastes into gold.

Mayor Pan Men-An expressed that “Pingtung Circular Hub” aims to construct a field that can promote innovative circular economy of agricultural technology. For example, the lemon zest after juicing can be processed using technology developed by the industry to create lemon probiotics or cosmetics while creating its added value. Mayor Pan emphasized that, apart from Pingtung’s quality agricultural products and production advantages derived from clusters of local food processing and biotechnological manufacturers, it was possible to link industrial, academic and research technology and resources in the future to build Pingtung into an important base for promoting agricultural circular economy here in Taiwan.

By taking nest fern as an example, a nest fern has only 15% of young leaves that can be sold to the market, whereas the rest 85% of old leaves are mostly trimmed and then used for compost. Shihzih Township, Pingtung County produces a large amount of nest fern. To effectively use eliminated parts thereof, the Nest Fern Production and Sales Class of Shihzih Township has specially invited “Pingtung Circular Hub” to select the proper technology and successfully introduced the “low-temperature color-retention drying technology” to powder nest fern. This technology successfully turns agricultural products out of the market standards, namely nest parts that are meant to be the compost, into a food additive powder product, which is over thousands of New Taiwan Dollars per kilogram and can be used to produce nest fern cookies and noodles. At the moment, a number of cooperation projects are under the discussion.

Pingtung’s Yongda Food Technology Co., Ltd. produces over 6,000 tones of lemon zest per year. Last year, it successfully introduced ITIR’s ecological value-added technology through the “Pingtung Circular Hub” and successfully transformed the mountain-like lemon zests into food additives for cow using special bacteria, production process and system of silage fermentation. Biological experiment results even indicate that the product can enhance cows’ health and increase their milk production. Relevant results are expected to be presented at a presentation session in April.

Urban and Rural Development Division expressed that, apart from offering venue leasing/borrowing, appointment and on-site consultation services in ordinary days, “Pingtung Circular Hub” will hold at least 9 technical explanation sessions, industrial match-making sessions, seminars, industrial six-level classes and industrial traveling activities this year. The Hub welcomes all citizens to participate in relevant activities.

“Pingtung Circular Hub” is an agricultural-industrial interdisciplinary integration services platform and is considered as an important bridge with respect to technology match-making for farmers, food processing manufacturers and technology providers. By matching residual or waste circular raw materials with ITIR’s technology, the Hub succeeded in linking cross-industry production and marketing channels to integrate local level 1, 2 and 3 industries into an ecological chain of circular economy and further create the power of industrial cluster. It is expected that this cooperation model will build Pingtung into the pioneer in the country’s food and agricultural resource circular industry!
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    1. Trash can also become gold! Pingtung Circular Hub assists farmers to reutilize agricultural wastes