Pan-blue county magistrate seeks to expand the domestic market to offset the loss of massive demand from China.
Presenter: Farmer are concerned over China's sudden announcement to ban imports of Taiwanese wax and sugar apples starting on Sept. 20. The Council of Agriculture encourages the public to use agriculture vouchers and support Taiwan's fruits.
The pineapple sugar apples are nicely ripe. Farmers expected to be exporting these sugar apples by the end of the year and China's announcement came as a big blow. Farmers worry about the prices would drop sharply if they have to rely on domestic sales.
Wang Chih-wei, Chair, Taitung Sugar Apples Cooperative Producers Society:”There is a huge impact on the market if we can only rely on domestic sales. Sugar apples yielded from 6000 hectares were supposed to be exported and now they all have to be sold domestically. The price of pineapple sugar apples is bound to drop greatly, same for custard apples.”
Taitung County Magistrate Yao Ching-ling shared her thoughts on how to boost sugar apple sales in the nation. She calls for the central government to offer sugar apple vouchers to attract citizens to buy them.
Yao Ching-ling, Taitung County Magistrate:”The Council of Agriculture could release Taitung sugar apple vouchers so that Taiwan citizens could use these vouchers, as well as the agriculture vouchers received previously, to buy sugar apples and come to love the taste of Taiwan sugar apples.”
The Council of Agriculture (COA) said they will still try to promote sugar and wax apples overseas elsewhere in face of the challenge. The council has no plans of releasing sugar apple vouchers at the moment but they would like to encourage the public to use agriculture vouchers to buy more sugar apples.
Chen Chun-chi, Deputy Minister, Council of Agriculture:”We will offer incentives for anyone who buys sugar apples, such as offering more rebates to promote the sales of sugar apples.”
Twenty years ago, Taiwan exported only two tonnes yearly to China. This number increased to one to two thousand tonnes ten years ago. In 2013, Taiwan exported more than 8000 tonnes to China, and over 13,000 tonnes yearly in the past 3 years. Agriculture experts say that relying too much on China is a trap. China's sudden call to suspend imports of Taiwanese fruits for insect reasons comes as a reminder for Taiwan farmers and the agriculture industry, in general, to expand their markets and be prepared for the agricultural crisis since one's fortune can change in the blink of an eye.