President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promised to look into the problems occurring between the production and sale of fruit and to protect the livelihoods of farmers amid recent complaints about the over surplus of bananas and papayas.
During a visit to Pingtung County yesterday morning, Ma met with a group of papaya farmers and discussed low fruit prices.
Farmers said the transaction price of papaya in Pingtung was NT$3 to NT$5 per 0.6kg, and a box of papayas, which is about 12kg, was only NT$150 from Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
“We can only earn about NT$50 from the sale of each box of papaya and the money is not enough to buy a lunchbox in Taipei,” farmer Yen Yue-hsiang (顏月香) said.
Ma said he met with farmers to better understand the problems, promising to look into the issue of production and sale and whether there was any exploitation involved.
“Farmers should have a reasonable income and it’s the government’s responsibility to protect their livelihoods,” Ma said.
The issue of surplus production of fruit was raised last week in Nantou County when Ma met a group of residents and some banana growers from Pingtung County expressed concerns about the low price of bananas.
Ma had instructed Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) to establish a notification mechanism to better monitor the production of bananas and papayas, as well as other agricultural produce.
To address the issue, Ma, who is seeking re-election in January, will visit Yilan County today and Greater Tainan tomorrow to meet with local farmers.
At a separate setting yesterday, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) pointed out that the plummeting price of bananas has been an issue for a while and he likened the Ma administration approach to paralysis.
Lee criticized the Ma government of placing its hope for a solution on China purchasing the surplus bananas, saying that despite the rhetoric trumpeted by the government following the signing of the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the truth of matter was that China has not been purchasing the bananas.
Noting that the going price for banana in China is NT$2 per 0.6kg, “How could [China] afford to buy Taiwan’s bananas?” Lee asked.
Lee, who has a background in agricultural economics, called into question that whether Ma knew how many kinds of bananas there were in Taiwan. According to Lee, there are spring, summer, and winter bananas in Taiwan.
Additional reporting by Tseng Wei-chen
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
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
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
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by