Wed, Jun 17, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Line character rice paddy is harvested in Pingtung

COLORFUL CROP:The rice, which totaled 4.5 tonnes, is being sold through Line Mart’s platform, with the money going to social welfare subsidies in Pingtung

By Chen Yen-ting and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Pingtung County farmers on Saturday last week line up in front of a rice paddy on the border of Nanzhou and Donggang townships that was planted in the shape of the characters of the Line messaging app.

Photo: Courtesy of the Pingtung County Government

A multihued rice paddy in Pingtung County that was planted so that the rice stalks would resemble Line characters was harvested on Monday, with the rice offered for sale over the Internet to raise money for social welfare services.

The paddy, on the border of Nanzhou (南州) and Donggang (東港) townships, was planted with rice stalks of different hues in a design created by Lin Ching-yuan (林清源), and attracted more than 660,000 visitors over the past three months, Pingtung County Government officials said.

Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) said the event demonstrated the capability of average farmers, adding that the proceeds from the sale of the 4.5 tonnes of rice via the Line Mart platform would fund social welfare subsidies in the county.

Line is a Japanese smartphone communications application that was launched in 2011.

Pan and more than 10 county councilors were on hand to watch the harvest, as well as Line Corp’s representative in Taiwan, Liao Wan-ing (廖婉寧).

The field depicted the figures of Line characters — Brown the bear, Coney the rabbit, James and Chief Moon. The figures are to be preserved for the time being, the county government said.

Graduating students from Donggang’s Datan Elementary School harvested the grain that they had helped plant.

The students said they felt a great sense of achievement that they would be able to eat rice that they harvested and that being able to experience part of a farmer’s life had been memorable.

Liao said that Line was glad to allow its products to be used to help those in need, adding that some Line fans continued to ask if Line-themed red bean cakes made from red beans harvested in Pingtung’s Wandan Township (萬丹) were still available.

That promotion has ended.

Jingzaitou Community development association director-general Shih Chien-min (施建民) said more than 100,000 of the red bean cakes had been sold during the promotion, raising NT$850,000.

The money would be used to fund the delivery of meals to elderly residents living alone in the community, Shih said.

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