Sun, Dec 28, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Chen eager to protect farmers, Yu says

CNA , YUNLIN

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that a series of agricultural reform projects have demonstrated President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) determination to protect farmers' interests.

During an inspection tour to gain an understanding of the marketing operations of cooperative societies in Yunlin County, Yu said that the Council of Agriculture and the China External Trade Development Council have been cooperating to promote the sales of Taiwan's agricultural products abroad.

He said that the country needs a comprehensive plan for the production and marketing of agricultural products.

According to Yu, other measures aimed at protecting farmers are also high on the agenda of the government, such as increasing elderly farmers' pensions and offering low-interest loans to farmers, as well as offering disaster relief loans and adding to import relief funds.

Yu said that the government plans to inject NT$67.5 billion (US$1.98 billion) into the import relief fund next year to better protect the interests of farmers. The target for the fund in 2005 will be NT$100 billion.

Later in the day, in a visit to an association of president Chen's supporters, Yu stressed that the DPP government has presented numerous policies and reform plans since it was elected in 2000.

As a result, the nation's economy has been recovering, and share prices, the real estate market and foreign reserves are improving, Yu said and added that the DPP government has the capability to lead the country efficiently. Therefore, he said, it would be unwise to remove the architects of this vibrant, new country.

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