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Rural Living Research

(1). Research of Fruits Consumption Habits in Taichung District-A Case Study on Sweet Persimmon

There are 75.2% of persimmons production come from Taichung district in Taiwan. The sweet persimmon is ready to serve without removing astringent taste.The bright appearance of sweet persimmon is easily attract ing consumers. The increasing visibility of sweet persimmon is due to the technology research by agricultural organizations and better cultivation and management of farmers. It has become one of the important fruits in Taichung district. The study is base on the sweet persimmon as case study to investigate the consumption habits of consumers. The important results are as follows:

  1. The most important communication channel to gain the related information of choosing fruit is by word of mouth from relatives and friends, followed by the advertising of television and marketplace. Government or agricultural organizations should use television or marketplace to advertising the related information about how to select the fruits.
  2. The three main considerations of consumers to choose sweet persimmon are "freshness", "sweetness", and "flesh texture". We should take the advantages of "freshness" of domestic fruits to let consumers enjoy "eat local and eat with seasons". And further to strengthen the stability of quality , and establish the consumption habits for consuming local sweet persimmon.
  3. The most common place to buy sweet persimmon is "traditional market or night market fruit stand". The price of favorite gift set of sweet persimmon is among NT$ 501-1000. The main reason for the purchase of imported persimmon is more stable q uality. There are 52.4% of i nterviewees would consider fruit brand when buying fruits, and the most trusted brand are "Farmers’ Association". The local Farmers’ Association can take the advantage of consumer’s trust to conducting marketing and extension, and to promote industrial development.
  4. The image and prices of sweet persimmon is higher than those of general fruits.The reason of sweet persimmon being selected as gifts , the packing box should have the six conditions in order are "origin", "best tasting period", "species", "weight and specifications", "information of producer" and "storage method". It will provide the reference for producers on the control of fruit quality and packing to meet the requirement of consumer.
  5. Strengthen the promotion of sweet persimmon industry by holding culture and experience activities for consumer. To let consumers understand the relevant knowledge and information of sweet persimmon, and is helpful to establish the industrial brand name of local production and local consumption.

(2). Impact of Home Economic Education on Improving the Living Standard Quality of Farm women

This study is to investigate the improvement of living standard quality of farm women affected by home economic education in Taichung Area. The Delphi Technique is used to establish the questionnaires of "Quality of Life Index" including the following four aspects: "improving individual physical and mental development", "strengthening personal capability or ability", "promoting social interaction and caring " and "enhancing the well-being of family life", and there are 51 items of indicators. The objects of this survey are members of home economic groups in Taichung City, Nantou County and Changhua County. There are total 627 valid questionnaires. The SPSS statistical analysis software is used to find out the distribution of the sample variables and the correlation of variables. The important findings are as follows:

  1. The average age of taget members of home economic groups is rather middle aged 54.4 years old. The average years of joing the home economic group is 10.3 years. Most of them have high school education .Their occupation is mostly home management.
  2. The highest scores of Quality of Life Index for home economic members is "promoting social interaction and caring" and follow by "enhancing the well-being of family life", "improving individual physical and mental development" and "strengthening personal capability". 
  3. Durations of attending home economic group have the greatest influence on the quality of life. The senior members are mostly affected by home economic education and have higher overall performance of Quality of Life Index, Home economics extension education could enhance the quality of life.
  4. It is recommended that home economics extension education should focus on the field of "strengthen personal capability" such as the ability of presiding the group meeting and method (or technique) demonstration. And in line of promoting local consumption of agricultural products and food education should strengthen the ability of farm women in agricultural production, simple (basic) processing and marketing as well as managing sideline business to increase economic income of farm families.

(3). The Research on Various Edible Feasibilities of Organic Pineapple

As compared organic farming Golden Diamond pineapples with conventional cultivation Golden Diamond pineapples on fruit appearance, sugar contents, organic acids, vitamin C and crude fiber. The fruit weight, fruit height and fruit width of organic pineapples are significantly higher than conventional pineapples. Organic Pineapple has a sugar index of Brix 14.56, which is higher than conventional cultivation pineapple, but with no significant difference. The Vitamin C, organic acids and crude fiber contents in conventional cultivation pineapple is higher than organic pineapples, and reached 0.05 significant difference. In comparison with fruit nutrient content of Golden Diamond pineapple by different tillage methods (organic farming and conventional cultivation), the nitrogen, potassium, copper, manganese content is higher in conventional cultivation pineapple, and the sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron content is higher in organic pineapple, and there is no significance difference on phosphorus and zinc content. The pineapple stuffing and cakes made with same formula from equivalent organic pineapple and conventional cultivation pineapple raw materials were conducted taste test on aroma, color, taste, flavor, hardness, and overall feeling and performance. The organic grown pineapple stuffing scored higher than conventional cultivation pineapple stuffing. Pineapples made from different pastry were conducted taste test on aroma, color, taste, flavor, hardness, the overall feeling and performance of pastry and stuffing combinations. The pastry made from 100% low-gluten flour scored higher than 70% low-gluten flour mixed with 30% rice flour, and reached 0.001 significant difference. The study also completed processing pineapple vinegar, dried pineapple, pineapple ice cream, pineapple jam, jelly, juice, salad recipes and pineapple dishes which can be utilized in various edible feasibilities of organic pineapple.

(4). Study on Counseling Strategy of Construction of Regional Fruit Brand- A case study on sweet persimmon of Motaining

Superior fruit is produced under natural environment and the use of better cultivation techniques. It uses the regional brands to increase their visibility. The development of regional brand is based on 「 certification mark of origin 」 and begin from the production area to form the regional brands image. The study found that the sweet persimmon farmers of Motaining are mostly above 41, male, high school degree, most of them have planted persimmon trees from 11 to 20 years. Average cultivation area is from 1 to 3 hectares, average 0.1 hectare can produced 5001 to 8000 fruits and the weight of fruits is focused on grade 8-10A. The production technology of sweet persimmon is roughly the same as other farmers. The major variety is "Fuyu". The main market channel is by the dealers or traffickers. Average annual income for planting persimmon is 1.1 million to 2 million, while the value of direct sale is less than NT$15,000. Most of the interviewees don ’ t have their own brand but all agreed that sweet persimmon of Motaining should applied certification mark of origin. They know that sweet persimmon of Motaining has geographical features, there is need to establish the certification mark of origin and all agreed that it is necessary to promote the regional marketing of sweet persimmon. They also agreed that the common origin of the trademark should establish by the local Farmers' Association to increase visibility in the market. However, farmers by way of direct sales don ’ t need to apply for a certification mark of origin and regional marketing. But those don ’ t have their own brand of persimmon farmers, they need certification mark of origin and regional marketing plan.

(5). Research on the Success Factors of Marketing Agricultural Gifts Developed by Farmers' Groups

Recently, there are many exquisite and beautiful agricultural gifts with local characteristics have been developed by farmers' groups. This study is to understand the key success factors of marketing agricultural gifts and provide the reference for the direction and marketing of the new product development and further to enhance the competitiveness of agricultural products. This study used the Delphi technique Method, invited 6 experts to complete back and forth twice questionnaires amendment and review. The result indicated that among the item of key success factors of the perspective of "product", the most important factor is "Innovation and Creativity of New Product "; for the perspective of "price" is "Product Combination and Promotions"; for the perspective of "Channel" is "Integration with the Township Features"; for the perspective of "Marketing" is "Selection of Dedicated Marketing Personnel"; for the perspective of "Customer" is "Customer Satisfaction". For the perspective of "Resource", the experts think that the most important success factors are "Own Capital of Farmers' Group", "Marketing and Planning Ability of Manager", "Employee Education and Training" and "Customer Service System".