Fri, Dec 23, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Ma makes promises to fruit farmers

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou, right, picks grapes at an orchard in Greater Taichung yesterday. Ma pledged to open up more distribution channels for fruit growers.

Photo: CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promised to take more measures in assisting farmers with agricultural exports.

Ma, seeking re-election, spent a night at farmer Chan Te-sen’s (詹德森) residence in Greater Taichung on Wednesday as part of his “home-stay” visit schedule.

He visited nearby grape and tangerine orchards in the morning and discussed issues related to agricultural development with local farmers.

While tasting the grapes and tangerines in the orchards, Ma promised farmers he would help boost sales of fruit and other agricultural products by expanding the export channels and promoting the sale of the agricultural products overseas.

Yesterday’s home-stay was the second overnight visit Ma has made to Taichung, following a stayover at another farmer’s home, seeking to attract support among farmers’ groups ahead of the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections.

Ma slammed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for its inaccurate pricing of persimmons on a campaign flyer last month, and urged DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her party not to underestimate the price of agricultural products.

The price of the non-astringent persimmons, which can be sold at NT$100 per jin (600g), was inaccurately listed as NT$2 per jin in the campaign flyer.

Due to the mistake, Ma said, Singapore in negotiations on purchases of the fruit, wanted to purchase it at a price of NT$50 per jin.

“The false information affected the export of agricultural products and caused harm to local farmers,” he said.

“We should not reduce the value of agricultural products and cause irreversible damage to farmers,” he said.

He later strolled though the crowded Tan Shin Market in Tanzih District (潭子), where he was greeted by vendors and shoppers as he campaigned for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative candidate in the area, Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔).

Additional reporting by CNA

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