Sat, Oct 15, 2016 - Page 3 News List

COA rejects claims of inaction as prices of vegetables rise

By Lee Hsin-fang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday said that accusations of inaction were unfounded amid an increase in vegetable prices after typhoons over the past few months damaged crops.

The National Policy Foundation, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) think tank, said that the Executive Yuan has done nothing to keep prices at bay.

Vice Premier Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) said that the council has increased the supply of produce from stockpiles to stabilize the market, adding that council members and the Fair Trade Commission had recently checked markets and that retailers found artificially inflating prices were punished according to the law.

Council Deputy Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan that the KMT’s criticisms were inaccurate.

Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that as of Thursday, the government had put approximately 1,954 tonnes of produce into the market to help keep prices down.

Hsu said that the Executive Yuan plans to increase the distribution of frozen produce from stockpiles.

According to the council, the government has distributed stock to 172 supermarkets in the greater Taipei area, as well as 14 stores linked to farmers’ associations, supplementing supplies of Chinese cabbages, white radishes, carrots, onions and potatoes.

It said that supplies of frozen vegetables at supermarkets and small retail stores have also been supplemented, including potatoes, corn, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, bitter melon and green onions.

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