Council of Agriculture Chairman Lee Chin-lung (李金龍) said yesterday he takes pride in seeing Taiwan-grown rice make successful inroads into Japan.
Lee made the remarks while presiding over a ceremony at Kaohsiung Harbor in southern Taiwan, marking the delivery of 90 tonnes of "Fuli" rice (富麗米) grown in the eastern county of Hualien to Japan.
Noting that Japan has imposed extremely stringent standards in rice quality examination, Lee said the export of Fuli rice to Japan is a source of pride for Taiwan, as the nation has been successful in meeting those standards.
It was the second shipment of Fuli rice to Japan, following an initial shipment of 18 tonnes in October of this year. With the October shipment receiving an enthusiastic response from Japanese consumers, Lee said, Japanese importers placed an additional order for 90 tonnes of Fuli rice.
Lee said the export volume is expected to reach 300 tonnes next year.
Taiwan last exported rice to Japan in 1971. The resumption of rice exports to Japan indicates that the quality of locally grown rice has received foreign recognition and that the government's response measures to cope with the impact of Taiwan's entry into the World Trade Organization have been appropriate, Lee said.
The Fuli rice was grown in the unpolluted upper stretch of the Hsiukuluan Creek in Hualien using organic farming methods, Lee said.
He also added that the organic rice has "a wonderful taste and texture."