Agriculture is an important primary industry that supports our basic necessities like food, shelter, and transportation. However, traditional animal husbandry methods and the environment in which the animals are bred make the surrounding disturbing to live in.
For example, if the livestock is bred near the farmers, their excrement exudes a foul smell. Moreover, with an environment of flies around the animal manure, the lives of surrounding citizens are also affected. The animal products produced in such an environment also become unhealthy to consume.
However, in Taiwan, we discovered a completely new breeding model, which was vastly different from the traditional. The farmers there are using modern microbial utilization concepts and technologies to create a system that converts manure to fertilizer within a short period of time. That gave solution to the foul smell and unhealthy breeding environment.
Simon Lu, the owner of the farm we visited, and Dr. Liling Liao together achieved results which completely revolutionized the Taiwan agriculture. Mr. Simon shared a few words with us about what inspired him to take these steps.
“I am a pragmatic idealist myself. The film COWSPIRACY (or translated as the conspiracy of animal husbandry) produced by Leonardo many years ago deeply shocked me. I never felt that a simple measure can change the status quo of this land. So in 2015 I decided to devote myself to animal husbandry and seek the possibility of environmentally friendly breeding.”
In order to use the new breeding methods, Simon studied biotechnology under the guidance of Dr. Liao at the FIRDI (Food Industry Research and Development Institute). The efforts of Dr. Liao’s team from FIRDI produced very good results in the application of animal husbandry. The breeding environment was thus made not only free of odor, but also free of animal manure.
Natural farming methods to restore biodiversity
In addition to the technologies, it is impressive that their team is committed to the natural environment, chicken and human life.
In 2017, the problem of fipronil contaminated eggs throughout Europe highlighted the problem of environmental medication. Simon’s breeding team adopts natural farming methods to achieve ecological balance in the overall environment and suppress pests.
As shared by Simon Lu, the whole environment does not need to be sprayed. With the improvement of the environment, the biodiversity around the poultry house was obviously restored. And fireflies, frogs, and dragonflies began to appear around the poultry house.
The balance between ideal situation and reality
Simon Lu and Dr Liling Liao also regularly keep promoting this new technology in Taiwan. They are teaching more farmers free of cost to use this new technology. More than 100s of farmers are currently learning from their efforts.
Though the distance between ideal situation and reality is very far, but their team is surely taking steps towards making the reality an ideal world to live in. Simon’s case provides a new possibility for the future of animal husbandry. In the process of pursuing mass production, whether it can take into account the environment, food safety and the restoration of biodiversity is worth thinking about.