The government's policy on producing crops for energy will refocus on crops used for ethanol gasoline after efforts to grow crops for biodiesel over the past two years proved inefficient, a senior Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) official said yesterday.
AFA Deputy Director Yu Sheng-feng (游勝鋒) said that as part of the efforts to promote the use of biomass energy, the agency planted biodiesel crops, including soybeans and sunflowers, on 1,721 hectares of fallow land in Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan counties last year.
This year the cultivation of such crops was expanded to 24 counties and townships nationwide, including Taoyuan and Taipei counties, on a total of 3,334 hectares of fallow.
However, harvests were far less than expected because of inclement weather and pests, Yu said, adding that the harvests were only sufficient to fuel a fleet of vehicles used in government biomass energy programs such as the "green government vehicle" program launched in September.
Because of this, Yu said, efforts will turn to plants such as sweet potatoes, which are one of the main crops used in the production of bio-ethanol.
Faced with an international energy crisis as crude oil prices skyrocket, the government is betting on biofuel crops to alleviate the problem within Taiwan, the AFA said.
Meanwhile, former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (
At a conference on national parks and forests hosted by the Construction and Planning Agency in Taipei earlier yesterday, Lee said that the country is inching forward at a snail's pace in its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
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