Guosing, Lemongrass Guosing Township Builds a New Hometown for Lemongrass
－Model Assistance Program for Guosing Township's Local Specialty Industry: Lemongrass
Guosing Township lies at the geographical center of Taiwan, an agricultural region composed by green mountains, clear rivers and magnificent scenery, rich with culture and natural landscapes. During the Japanese occupation, the camphor, lemongrass and cypress cultivated by local villagers were all favorites of the Japanese. The natural oils extracted from the lemongrass plant could be used as a mosquito repellent and also to relieve swelling and itching, and furthermore, it can be sold overseas to Italy and France to manufacture high quality spices and perfumes. The lemongrass industry once flourished in Guosing Township. It was said that a barrel of lemongrass oil could be traded for a house; such was the prosperous outlook in those days. Yet, with Taiwan unable to compete on price with Indonesia and other lemongrass oil produced countries, Guosing Township lost an important local economic lifeline of its cottage industry.
Now, with aromatherapy gaining popularity in recent years, Guosing Township's fragrance industry has rejuvenated lemongrass production, integrating local culture and natural ecology, establishing the unique "olfactory tourism," and building a new hometown for lemongrass production. After three years of close cooperation between the assistance team and Guosing Township's fragrance manufacturers, autonomous operations were established with local flavor and the unique industry of lemongrass tourism was launched, further stimulating vigorous development of the local tourism industry. There hard work of the townships people is evident everywhere -- in the local landscaping, beautification of accommodations, product research and development, product packaging, specialty cuisine, guidebooks, guided tours, and regional strategic alliances.