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Taiwanese farmers break rice-planting world record

posted 18 Aug 2012, 09:00 by Mpelembe   [ updated 18 Aug 2012, 09:01 ]

More than 1,200 farmers in Taiwan break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people transplanting rice seedlings on a plot of land.

Farmers in Taiwan smashed the Guinness World Record on Saturday (August 18) for the largest number of people transplanting rice seedlings on a plot of land.
A total of 1,215 farmers in the country's northern Taoyuan county transplanted seedlings on a 2.1-hectare plot of land in 16 minutes and 20 seconds, the Council of Agriculture said.

The previous record set in Thailand saw over 900 people planting seedlings on a 1.6-hectare plot in 30 minutes and 35 seconds.

"The record until now of the largest number of people planting at once was set in Thailand on May 6, 2010, and there were 904 participants. But today in Taoyuan, Taiwan the number is 1,215 people. This is a new world record," said Cheng Dong, a Guinness World Record judge.

The event, whose participants were mostly middle-aged to elderly farmers, was aimed at promoting farming and consumption of local rice in Taiwan, organisers said.

"I think we need to develop agriculture, it's very helpful for U.S. farmers. Taiwanese should consume more rice to help develop agriculture," said 75-year old Chuang Rui-xiang, who has worked on a farm for more than 60 years.

"The skill of the older generation in replanting seedlings is gradually being lost. This event can serve to teach the young people, that's one point. Another point is, we can encourage the effective re-use of abandoned farmland," said Huang Min-liang, a 60-year-old farmer.

Ninety-six-year-old Chen Huo-teng, the event's oldest participant, has been a rice farmer for nearly 70 years.

"This is the happiest day of my life as a farmer. There are so many people, but I get to stand in middle. It's really fun. This event is good for agriculture," he said.

Around 700 people stood on the sidelines and encouraged the farmers.