Sat, Sep 07, 2019 - Page 2 News List

NT$1bn cooling systems to improve crop delivery

TAKING ROOT:After hitting a 20-year high, the council is looking to further boost agricultural exports and cited ‘remarkable’ growth in nations other than China

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Council of Agriculture officials hold placards showcasing the council’s achievements at a news conference in Taipei yesterday celebrating the first anniversary of the Sixth National Agricultural Congress.

Photo: Wu Liang-yi, Taipei Times

The Executive Yuan has budgeted NT$1 billion (US$31.99 million) to improve crop delivery by building integrated cooling facilities, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday.

At a news conference in Taipei, Chen touted the council’s achievements since the Sixth National Agricultural Congress in September last year, which was convened 15 years after the fifth congress in 2003.

Building cooling systems to keep crops fresh after long-distance delivery is one of the council’s priorities in the coming years, he said, adding that he and other council officials have inspected 50 to 60 potential venues.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) approved a NT$1 billion budget to build the systems nationwide over the next five years, Chen said.

The construction of three major cooling logistics centers in Taoyuan, as well as in Changhua and Pingtung counties, would be completed by next year, Chen said in July when he and Su visited the Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park.

The council is also aiming to boost agricultural exports, especially after they last year reached a 20-year high of US$5.47 billion, he said.

Total agricultural export revenue this year is expected to be 10 percent higher than last year, he added.

China, Japan and the US were the three biggest destinations last year, while the council has been exploring new markets, the council said.

A council delegation on Aug. 21 traveled to Moscow to stage a crop promotion event, where Taiwanese fruits — including mangoes, papayas and passion fruit — as well as flowers and tea received significant interest from Russian firms, it added.

From January to June, the nation’s agricultural exports made NT$85.3 billion in revenue, 6.5 percent higher than in the same period last year, council data showed.

While exports to China made up nearly 20 percent of revenue in the first six months, the council said that gains in other nations were “remarkable.”

Exports to Australia totaled NT$1.78 billion, up 19.7 percent year-on-year, followed by NT$1.75 billion to the Philippines, up 21.3 percent, and NT$1.69 billion to Malaysia, up 21.1 percent, the data showed.

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