Mar 04, 2018 Market Comments Off on Steps being taken to protect farmers as vegetable prices plunge
Taipei, Assistance will be given to vegetable farmers to reduce a stockpile of vegetables left over from repeated holidays and closures of Taipei's fruits & vegetables wholesale markets within the past few weeks, an Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) official said Sunday.
Following Taipei's fruits & vegetables wholesale markets closure for five days during the Luna New Year festivities from Feb. 16-20, the markets closed again from Feb. 24-26.
When the markets re-opened Feb. 27, there were more than 150,000 batches of agricultural products in stock totaling a trading volume of 2,108 tons, causing prices to collapse amidst the groans of farmers.
Thomas Peng (???), a professor at National Taiwan University, said on his Facebook page Sunday that he was very surprised as he only spent NT$30 (US$1.02) to purchase a large pack of spoon cabbage and three broccoli at his local traditional markets.
To make matters worse, the markets are again to close for a further three days Monday.
Su Mao-hsiang (???), AFA deputy head, said farmers, production and marketing groups, and wholesale markets have already been notified through various public announcements to take certain measures in order to stabilize vegetable prices.
Farmer groups in production areas have been told to make use of cold storage to help regulate vegetable supplies, Su said.
Due to the increase of vegetable supply right after the Lunar New Year holiday, the AFA will ask Yunlin County Erlun Farmers' Association, Chiayi County's Hsinkang Farmers' Association and others to help distribute supplies, Su said.
As warmer weather has resulted in a richer harvest of melons and vegetables, assistance will be given to farmers, supermarkets and hypermarkets to adjust the supply, Su added.
Also, Japan was affected by heavy snowfall this year which increased their demand for imported vegetables. Orders for Taiwanese cabbage is roughly estimated to be over 130 containers with approximately 50 containers, or over 1,000 tons, already having been exported, Su said.
There are are more than 1,600 tons of export demand, Su said, adding that assistance will be given to farmer groups as demand for exports is expected to continue through May.
Supervision will be given to Taipei's fruits & vegetables markets, including putting all efforts to auctions, extending auction times, promoting large-scale sales, Su said, adding that farmers will also be asked to harvest at appropriate times to avoid oversupply.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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