Tue, Jun 19, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Farmers optimistic about rice exports

Staff writer, with CNA

Farmers have expressed optimism about China’s recent decision to allow imports of Taiwanese rice, although some said local farmers should keep their rice-cultivation technology to themselves.

The comments came in response to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi (王毅), who announced on Sunday that China will allow imports of Taiwanese rice.

Chien Ming-chin (簡明欽), head of a farmers’ association in Yunlin County, said he welcomed the decision, but urged agricultural authorities to get involved to ensure good prices for the rice and regular orders instead of just one purchase.

Chinese officials visited the association about two weeks ago to discuss matters related to exports of Taiwanese rice to China, he said.

Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤), a farmers’ association chief in Chiayi County, said rice exports to China should be a long-term commitment and that markets for Taiwanese rice should be clearly delineated from those for Chinese rice.

However, rice farmers in the Eastern Rift Valley in Taitung County said farmers should not transfer the technology they use to grow quality rice to China and should keep distribution costs down when exporting rice to China.

Tu Chin-jung (涂進榮), who leads a production and marketing team associated with a farmers’ association in Taitung’s Luye Township (鹿野), said Taiwanese should avoid technology transfers because Taiwan’s rice market would suffer if Chinese obtained the technology.

Chiu Chui-chang (邱垂昌), a former winner of a local rice quality competition, urged large Chinese businesses to purchase rice directly from Taiwanese farmers to help reduce shipping costs.

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