Sun, Jan 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Milk to elementary schools still being discussed: council

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Providing milk to elementary-school students is still a proposal under deliberation, the Council of Agriculture said.

The remarks were made in response to a media report on Friday that the government intends to initiate such a national program.

The Chinese-language United Evening News reported that the Ministry of Education had made the suggestion last week, with the Executive Yuan asking related government agencies to start planning the policy.

The report said the scheme would operate three days a week, and a rough estimation of the budget would be NT$1.9 billion (US$633.6 million) per year.

The council said government agencies are gathering information from other countries on the provision of free milk in an attempt to encourage schoolchildren to drink milk, improve nutrition and support the domestic dairy industry.

The council said the suggested policy would need to cover where the dairy cows were sourced from, animal feed supply and the willingness of dairy farmers, as well as other aspects concerning the production and sale of dairy products.

A meeting was held on Friday with milk companies and dairy industry groups, the council said, but more discussion is needed.

Council Deputy Minister Wang Cheng-teng (王政騰) said the suggested policy was first mentioned by Minister Without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) a few months ago, when he returned from a visit to Japan and asked whether Taiwan could provide milk to schools at a reasonable price, or free.

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