Taiwan's top outstanding young persons were honored Saturday at an award ceremony in Taitung City, with one of the headliners a Taitung-based farmer who has redefined rice farming by making use of blockchain technology.
The honors, known as the 10 Outstanding Young Persons Awards (though 11 winners were selected this year), are organized annually by the Junior Chamber International Taiwan to honor Taiwanese aged 20 to 40 for outstanding achievements.
Among the winners, 39-year-old Taitung-based farmer Wei Jui-ting (???) was awarded for adopting blockchain technology to facilitate his organic rice production and successfully marketing rice from Taiwan in world markets.
Wei, who received the award about 40 kilometers south of his hometown, told CNA at the ceremony that being "outstanding" meant doing your best and making the most out of every ordinary endeavor.
But it was only after years of doing his best that Wei found success.
Born in Taitung's Chishang Township to a farming family, he returned home at the age of 28 to help his parents' organic rice farm, which was having trouble growing and selling its rice.
Wei used different approaches over time to get the farm back in track, but the most important step may have come in 2018 when he introduced blockchain technology that allowed him to monitor the condition of his rice through a micro weather station.
Blockchain technology ensures that data can be compiled and stored in a way that is virtually tamper-proof, and Wei has used it to keep precise and accurate records on various crop parameters, guaranteeing food traceability, he told Taiwan Panorama in August 2020.
Data gathered by the micro weather stations can also be used to guide the irrigation of his fields, the application of fertilizer, and measures for controlling pests and diseases, he said to the magazine.
The innovative approach has enabled his rice to receive Halal certification and U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorization and gain a presence in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Hong Kong, and the United States.
He has even sent some of his rice to the Pope with the help of diplomats stationed at Taiwan's embassy in the Holy See.
Given Wei's selection, it was only appropriate that this year's award ceremony for the 10 Outstanding Young Persons Awards was held in Taitung for the first time in their history.
The other 10 winners picked included Yang Yung-wei (???), a silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics in judo, as well as choreographer Tsai Po-cheng (???), Viola Cheng (???), CEO for Good Food Enterprise, and Lin Chun-cheng (???), founder of the social enterprise CAN Culture, Art & Nature.
Other recipients were Max Ma (???), founder of give543.com, educator Wang Shih-chin (???), Lee Hung-yi (???), an associate professor of electrical engineering at National Taiwan University, Chen Ji-heng (???), head of Nantou county's Jiji township, Liao Lun-de (???), associate investigator at National Health Research Institutes' Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Nanomedicine, and special education teacher Joy Lin (???).
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel