Thu, Sep 13, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Cabinet passes plan for agriculture venture fund

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A plan to devote NT$10 billion (US$302 million) over six years to encourage venture capital for agricultural technology businesses passed the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.

"It is expected that another NT$10 billion from the private sector will be driven to invest in developing agricultural technology as a result of the proposal," Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said at the meeting.

Spurring investment

Chang said that through the project, the administration hopes to spur private investment in innovative technology development in the farming, forestry, fishery, animal husbandry and biotechnology sectors in order to upgrade and transform the nation's agriculture sector.

Under the Cabinet's plan, NT$500 million is budgeted for the project this year, NT$1.5 billion for next year and NT$2 billion for each of the next four years.

Agribusinesses with paid-in capital of more than NT$50 million that were established less than five years ago and agribusiness with paid-in capital of more than NT$30 million in government-established agricultural-biotechnology parks are qualified to apply.


"About 150 agribusinesses will benefit from the project," Council of Agriculture Chairman Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said after the Cabinet meeting.

After the establishment of the Agricultural-Biotechnology Park in Pingtung, Taiwan Orchid Plantation Park in Tainan and Vanilla and Herbs Biotechnology Park in Chiayi, the project will lend momentum to the nation's agricultural industry, Su said.

The government plans to open bidding to select financial institutions to manage the funds.

Additional reporting by CNA

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