Nantou County, one of the nation’s biggest producers of flowers, has called on the government to provide subsidies, as prices have plummeted in the absence of graduation ceremonies and banquets, amid a water shortage.
Puli Township (埔里) has 400 hectares dedicated to cultivating flowers, which is estimated to bring in NT$2 billion (US$72.38 million) in profit per year.
While late seasonal plum rains would have reduced losses for farmers, a COVID-19 outbreak that started last month has led to the cancelation of graduation ceremonies and banquets, farmers said.
Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Taipei Times
The ceremonies and banquets usually make up the majority of flower sales during this time of the year, they said.
One farmer, surnamed Juan (阮), said that a bouquet of roses would be on the high end sold for NT$50 to NT$60 per bouquet at the wholesale market, and NT$30 to NT$40 on the low end.
Sales this year would not even cover overhead costs, Juan said, adding that farmers are also concerned that the pandemic would continue through the next flowering season.
Another farmer, surnamed Nai (乃), said that the overheads on a 293.4 ping (970m2) plot of land could be as much as NT$200,000.
Nai, who owns 6,789m2 of land, said that he had decided not to harvest roses this year, as he stands to lose more than NT$1 million.
Growers of fruit, such as papaya and passion fruit, have also filed for natural disaster subsidies, Puli Township Mayor Liao Chih-cheng (廖志城).
The county government is today to survey the potential losses, and the township would ask that any subsidies include the flower industry, he said.
Sales of Texas bluebells have also fallen due to the pandemic.
The flower is often exported to Japan, especially during the winter, when the cold weather prevents it from being grown in Japan.
Chiayi County’s Singang Township (新港) contributed nearly 20 percent of total exports of the flower, which have in the past two years fallen due to the pandemic.
Farmers’ losses will keep mounting amid the level 3 COVID-19 alert, which is to be in effect until June 28, Singang Township Agricultural Association Supply and Demand Department director Cheng Ming-jen (陳銘仁) said yesterday.
A farmer surnamed Lin (林) said that exports for Texas bluebells stopped in April, but domestic sales had also been battered amid the outbreak.
Another farmer, surnamed Wu (吳), turned to online platforms to sell the flowers and minimize losses, offering a bouquet for NT$200 while giving away a bouquet for free.
“The price is slightly lower than the total overheads, but it is much better than wholesale,” Wu said.
A student at National Chengchi University jumped from the roof of his apartment in the early hours of Sunday after he was allegedly bullied online. The 21-year-old student, surnamed Huang (黃), on Friday last week posted on the university’s online discussion forum asking the public to judge a dispute he was having with a female roommate about rent. An anonymous post on the online forum Dcard appeared on the same day, saying he was the last person to judge others, and that he was “a heavy smoker, lazy, a terrible group member for class projects and a person with a poor
‘IT FEELS DESOLATE’: Foot traffic has all but stopped in the district, but some traditional stores that offer online shopping have seen their revenues increase Businesses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) would take at least six months to recover from the effects of a COVID-19 outbreak, a merchants’ association said on Sunday. Wanhua, home to the Ximending (西門町) shopping area, is usually one of the most visited parts of Taipei. However, people have been avoiding the district since last month, when a COVID-19 outbreak was discovered there. Now, only local residents can be seen on the streets of Wanhua and they pass by quickly without entering the shops, Taipei Business District and Industrial Confederation chairman Hung Wen-ho (洪文和) said. “Most businesses have shuttered up. Only a
‘WITCH HUNT’: Huang Wei-che’s comments made it seem as if all visitors to Tainan would be a threat and infected people should be fined, an association said Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) should repeal a program to issue rewards for positive COVID-19 tests among people who return to their former home from northern Taiwan over the Dragon Boat Festival long weekend, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights said yesterday. Huang’s “authoritarian behavior” is unacceptable, the association said after he announced that people should notify the Tainan Public Health Bureau of people who travel to Tainan to visit relatives from Saturday to Monday next week and urge them to get tested for the virus. People would receive NT$1,000 if they submit a report that leads to a positive COVID-19 rapid
Scammers have developed new strategies to extract personal information and money amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan, the Taichung Police Department said on Sunday. The department provided advice to avoid online scams amid a surge in reports of people posing as contact tracing officials or e-commerce platforms. Scammers have developed new strategies to extract information and money, it said. Some pose as contact tracing officials, messaging targets to tell them that they have been listed as a contact of a confirmed case, it said. They ask for the target’s birthdate, national identification number, family members and other information, the department said. Contact tracing personnel do