Selecting the optimal economic crop in minority regions with the criteria about soil and water conservation

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Taiwan intends to select an economic crop to be planted in a minority region to improve the farmers’ income and soil and water conversation. This paper therefore applied a combination of three well-established techniques, including Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution), to optimize the selection process of an economic crop. Based on a literature review and in-depth interviews with government officials, farming experts and farmers, several selection criteria are developed, including soil and water conservation, the continuity of food and cultural heritage in minority regions, and the value-adding activities that may increase the household income and the employment in the entire agricultural Produce-to-Sell value chain. As a result, plum, is selected as the optimal candidate by the fuzzy model for the social assistance program of agricultural development. The experts also suggested that government might empower and energize the administrative organization, maintain soil and water conservation on hillsides and consolidate available resources to maximize the effectiveness of assistance. Moreover, the economic value in the plum Produce-to-Sell value chain can be enhanced, through considering culture, brand, distribution channel, and consumer experience.

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Agricultural Water Management



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