Tue, Aug 14, 2012 - Page 4 News List

ICDF offers aid to Indonesian island

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan is planning to offer technical assistance to develop agriculture in Morotai, a remote Indonesian island, according to officials from a Taiwanese government-affiliated organization assigned to carry out the project.

The officials from Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) were making a fact-finding tour of the island to facilitate implementation of the program.

Due to water shortages, the quality and yield of vegetables in Morotai is not high, said Lin Yen-jen (林彥仁), chief of the Taiwan Technical Mission in Indonesia,who accompanied the ICDF group on the tour.

However, the technical mission could pass on agricultural techniques to help residents establish special zones for planting fruit and vegetable crops, such as squash, pineapples and guavas, in line with a project to develop the island as a tourist destination, Lin said.

The majority of Morotai residents rely on fishing, and their rice crops cannot be sold on market because of their low quality, said Wu Chiung-feng (吳炯鋒), a member of the ICDF delegation, after meeting with local farmers and government representatives.

Despite the low quality of its crops, the island has the potential to grow high-yield and high-quality rice using techniques provided by the Taiwanese mission, Wu said.

Morotai, located in northeastern Indonesia’s North Maluku Province, has a population of 50,000 and an area of about 2,400km2.

The development project resulted from a request by the Indonesian government for Taiwan to help plan the island’s development, the ICDF said.

Last year, Taiwan reached an agreement with Indonesia to jointly develop the remote Indonesian island as a tourist destination.

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