Tue, Jul 21, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Council to increase land used for organic farming

Staff writer, with CNA

The government will work to expand the total area of farm land used for organic crops to 5,000 hectares and increase annual production to NT$3 billion (US$90.9 million) by 2012, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday.

“Those goals are outlined in a high-end agricultural development project approved by the Executive Yuan,” the said council in a statement.

Citing a 2006 study by Organic Monitor, an agriculture watchdog, the council said the nation’s organic food and beverage sales increased from NT$920 million in 2003 to NT$1.81 billion in 2006 and could reach NT$5.13 billion in 2013.

Increasingly health conscious consumers are opting for organic products, although they often cost more, the council said, adding that global organic food and beverage sales were also growing rapidly.

The statement said the government has the goal of eventually making all farming in Taiwan organic.

Under the project, initiated by the CEPD and the Council of Agriculture, the government will use land owned by state-run Taiwan Sugar and the Veterans Affairs Commission for organic farming.

The government will also help owners of large plots of fallow farmland venture into organic farming, the statement said.

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