The recent cold weather has contributed to a sudden increase in high-quality winter vegetables, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday, adding that people should choose domestic vegetables to support local farmers.
Though vegetable prices have gone up by about a third from last year, Agriculture and Food Agency Secretary-General Hsu Han-ching (許漢卿) said that prices were reasonable when compared with recent increases in agricultural costs such as fertilizers and shipping.
This month’s vegetable prices have shot up a steep 28 percent compared to prices in the same period last year and are now NT$30.5 per kilogram at the Taipei Fruits and Vegetables Market, and average NT$26.1 per kilogram at the Hsiluo Vegetables Wholesale Market, a 19 percent increase from the prices during the same period last year.
“As long as winter vegetables are between NT$15 to NT$25 per kilogram, the price would be considered reasonable,” Hsu said.
“The prices now are of course a bit higher than that, but they are not expected to stay over NT$30 for long. Considering production costs now, it is still reasonable,” he said.
Rebutting some media reports that the supply of winter vegetables was exceeding demand and therefore prices were dropping, Hsu said that according to the COA’s monitor, the market mechanism was healthy.
“The COA at this time will not consider intervening in the market,” he said.