Hualien County Fuli Township Farmers’ Association

Introduction of the Spot

With good soil, good water and good quality, Fuli Rice satisfies each gourmet.

Hualien is nearly 140 km long. Fuli is the southmost township as well as the best rice production area in Hualien. Fuli Township Farmers’ Association, beside Provincial Highway 9, attracts tourists with its unique elvated canopy. The straw artwork to the side of the field has been exposed to the wind and rain over months, but it still attracts many visitors. The shop is crowded with tourists from around Taiwan. As well as buying famous Fuli rice, people come to buy processed rice products. The recently renovated pastry and beverage area is a good place for people to have afternoon tea.

People in Fuli started growing rice during the Japanese Colonial Period. East Rift Valley is narrower in Fuli, with the highest mountain in the Coastal Mountains; Xingang Mountain in the east and Yushan Mountain in the west. The insolation duration in Fuli is relatively shorter. Some scholars think that is why the quality of rice in Fuli is better. Most of the paddy fields are also located at the hillside of the Coastal Mountains, east of Xiuguluan River. Studies show that the vertisol here is suitable for growing rice because the soil has higher viscidity. Irrigated by the water through the Maifan Rock Formation, the rice is of excellent quality. The soil near the Central Mountains is mostly sandy. There is a huge difference in the quality of the soil, therefore, the quality of rice grown in these two places is different.

Excellent quality "Ugly Beauty Rice" has a lot of textures for customers to choose from.

Over the past 40 years, the most recommended rice in Fuli is Kaohsiung No.139; the oldest rice in Taiwan, but it is only grown in Eastern Taiwan. Popular in Japan, the rice is white inside and doesn't look very good, but it tastes superb and is thus nicknamed the “ugly beauty.”

Two years ago, Milk Queen, with technology transfer from Japan, came to belong to the newer Koshihikari kind. Peculiar kinds of rice often appear in Japanese rice contests. The first prize would undergo optimization. Milk Queen is one of them. This rice is given the name "Milk Queen" due to its milky color. For farmers to have sufficient time to grow soybeans to improve the soil during the fallow period after the two harvests each year, Milk Queen, with a shorter growing season, is used. A new rice kind faces uncertainty in domestication. Fuli Township Farmers’ Association raised the guaranteed price to purchase this rice. Consumers in the market had a high acceptability for this new rice. Two months after it was harvested, the rice was sold out, so if rice can be domesticated well, more people will grow it.

Tainong 77, also named Koshihikari in Taiwan, and the earliest Yiquan Fragrant Rice in Taiwan, are major rice kinds in Fuli. Kaohsiung 147 Fragrant Rice, cultivated by the Hualien District Agricultural Research and Extension Station is another successful new kind of rice. There are about 2,000 ha. of paddy fields in Fuli. The first organic village in Taiwan, Luoshan, also mainly grows rice. With food safety issues being increasingly emphasized, 500 ha. out of more than 700 ha. of paddy fields under the contract of the Fuli Township Farmers’ Association are organic. With excellent quality and organic growth methods, the image of Fuli Rice has been vastly enhanced.