Thu, Aug 23, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma presents his vision for nation's agriculture sector

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou eats a cucumber during a visit to Yunlin County yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday pledged to revive the nation's agriculture sector by establishing agricultural "golden corridors" and agricultural parks.

Presenting his policies while meeting farmers in Yunlin County, Ma said the government should work to integrate agriculture and technology by establishing agricultural parks to revive the industry.

"Taiwan's agricultural sector is in a state of transformation and current agricultural policies are inadequate. We need to combine agriculture and science and build a `golden corridor' for a new agricultural industry," Ma said.

Besides establishing "agricultural parks" by integrating local farmer's associations and joining forces with related industries, Ma's agricultural policies include plantations along the route of the high speed rail line to create an agricultural corridor.

In addition to initiating a national agricultural plan with the establishment of agricultural parks, the government will set up various facilities in the parks and provide reasonable rents for local farmers to increase productivity and decrease costs.

With the establishment of an agricultural corridor along the rail route, towns and counties dependent on agriculture, including Yunlin County and Pingtung County, will be able to further develop their agriculture sectors by taking advantage of enhanced transportation.

Ma also proposed strengthening research and development efforts to promote sophisticated agricultural products and turn Taiwan into a world agricultural center.

If elected president, Ma said the government would budget for marketing agricultural products, push for the integration of the agriculture and leisure sectors and develop 100 to 300-hectare recreational ranches to increase farmers profits.

"Agriculture tourism and agricultural parks will herald a new phase for Taiwan's agriculture industry and create added value for our farmers," he said.

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