“Conserving arable land is an important aspect of ensuring food security in Taiwan,” said Professor Chi-Kuei Wang, a remote sensing scientist in the Geomatics Department at the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan, Taiwan.
The Taiwanese government understands the delicate balance that must be struck between industrial development and farmland conservation. Today, roughly one quarter of the island’s 35,800 square kilometers of land is used for growing crops. Many hectares, of course, will never be arable, such as the high mountains and sprawling metropolitan areas, including the capital city of Taipei.
Several government agencies have attempted to determine how much arable land remains undeveloped on the island and, equally as important, how much fertile ground has already been lost to construction of homes and buildings. Government offices have used several techniques to make these calculations, but the results are considered to be inaccurate.