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Revive the Legend of Ponlai Rice! Hutian Community and National Taiwan University Collaborate to Restore an Heirloom Rice Variety

 Hutian Community Development Association in Zhuzihu, Yangmingshan has collaborated with the Department of Agronomy, National Taiwan University to restore an heirloom rice variety. The heirloom rice variety introduced from Japan to Taiwan in the early years had been lost long ago. After an extensive search conducted by scholars in Japan, the invaluable rice variety was successfully reintroduced to Zhuzihu! The challenging restoration journey aims to revive the legend of Ponlai Rice and showcase the tenacity and culture of Taiwanese agriculture.

 The Geotechnical Engineering Office, Public Works Department, Taipei City Government indicated that a group of people rolled up their pants and hunched over the paddy field by the side of Zhuzihu Road under the searing sun in July to demonstrate the traditional farm work of manual rice transplanting. Yung-Ju Chen, the former President of the Hutian Community Development Association, also introduced the unique Nakamura variety in the paddy field enthusiastically.

 The Nakamura variety was introduced to Taiwan when the country was under Japanese colonial rule, and it ultimately evolved into the Ponlai Rice of today after years of improvements. Although the Nakamura variety was lost in Taiwan, Chao-Shu Hsieh, a Professor from the Department of Agronomy at National Taiwan University, traveled to Japan to find it and eventually came upon the Nakamura variety, which has been frozen for three decades in the National Institute of Genetics in Japan. In the spring of 2016, they transplanted Nakamura rice seedlings in a paddy field in Zhuzihu by hand in heavy rain, creating the lush green rice fields we see today that symbolize the realization of the hope to reintroduce the Nakamura variety to Taiwanese soil.

 Shih-Yuan Lin, Section Chief of the Geotechnical Engineering Office, said that Zhuzihu has not only become the cradle of Ponlai Rice, but it is also famed for its alpine flowers and vegetables. Zhuzihu Ponlai Rice Foundation Seed Field Story House has transformed Zhuzihu into a valuable region for exploring the history and story of Ponlai Rice, allowing citizens to appreciate the diverse culture and features of Taiwanese agriculture.

 The Hutian Community Development Association has joined forces with the National Taiwan University to showcase the heritage of Taiwanese agriculture and highlight agricultural experts' selfless devotion to environmental adaptation and variety improvement. The journey of reintroducing the heirloom rice variety takes people back to a century ago to admire the diligence and commitment of Japanese agricultural experts. Are you curious about the story of Ponlai Rice? You are invited to visit “ZhuZiHuClub” on Facebook to discover the impressive miracle of Taiwanese agriculture.

 Note: If you need to use relevant photos, please download them from the website of "Geotechnical Engineering Office, Public Works Department, Taipei City Government" (http://www.geo.gov.taipei/).