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Due to geographical and climate influences, agriculture is the mainstay of the Kungkuan economy. In addition to crops including rice, pickled vegetables, jujubes, and taro, ceramics and silk products are also special goods that are produced in Kungkuan. 

Rice

The rice fields occupy about half of the area. What makes Kungkuan’s rice chewy with a delicate texture is that it has a longer growth period compared with rice planted in the southern part of Taiwan, and the rice is planted alternately with taro. Kungkuan’s rice was the Japanese emperors’ favorite during the Japanese colonial period. Kungkuan rice is classified as Taiwan Rice No. 9, and its characteristics include excellent quality, pure white color, high transparency, sweetness, and chewiness with high elasticity.

Jujubes

Over 100 years ago, the villager Huan-Nan Chen of Shiqiang Village planted 2 jujube trees in his back yard, which were brought back by his friend from Guangdong Province. Jujubes have become the gem of Kungkuan’s products. Jujubes have the best sweetness and crispness if they are harvested from July to mid-August. After this harvest season, jujubes can be air dried to become dry jujubes, which can be great ingredients for cooking, making tea, or making processed food.

Fu vegetables (pickled vegetables)

Fu vegetables are the most representative Hakka pickled vegetables. After the harvest of seedy mustards every winter, farmers preserve them by drying them 3-4 times in combination with pickling and putting them into glass containers for 4 to 6 months. The resulting product has been used as one of the most tasty cooking materials in traditional Hakka cuisine.

Taro

Taro is one of the most important crops in Kungkuan. Its large appearance, aroma, color, chewy texture, and good taste result from irrigation water of the Houlong River that contains abundant lime.

Ceramics

Miaoli county contains natural gas and coal as unique natural resources in combination with abundant clay, technologies were brought here during the Japanese colonial period. Because of this, Miaoli became an important city for producing ceramics products, and Kungkuan Township in particular has been called “Ceramic Town.” During its peak, Kungkuan Township had 18 kilns, and to date is still an important city for making ceramics.

Silk

Taiwan’s sericulture has more than a 100-year history and began in the Qing Dynasty during the time of the first governor, Ming-Chuan Liu. Five specialized sericulture areas, including Miaoli, were set up by the government in 1973, and the sericulture factory was eventually moved to Kungkuan. From that time, sericulture became greatly prosperous and silk products were successfully exported to foreign for many years. Due to higher production cost and international competitions, sericulture declined gradually. However, silk products and associated technologies have left a strong impression locally.