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COA to create monitor system for key farm products against price slides

CHINA - The Council of Agriculture (COA) will set up a production information monitoring system for 17 more vegetables, fruits, livestock, and fishery products to help prevent overproduction and slides in market prices.

COA will require farmers and fishermen to report projected output volumes on their planting and cultivation plans in advance.

If overproduction and price slides take place, the government will purchase the products from those who have filed such reports at a rate of 95 percent of the average production costs for the past five years.

But suppliers who fail to make advance reports will receive only 65 percent of the average production costs from the government.

COA Chairman Su Chia-chyuan said yesterday the new system is designed to closely monitor the production volumes of products that are susceptible to sharp price swings, resulting in imbalance in supply and market demand.

The mechanism will effectively reduce the financial risks and losses faced by farmers and fishermen, Su said.

The 17 agricultural products to be covered in the system will include farm products such as garlic, onions, and peanuts. Fruits such as bananas, papayas, pineapples, and oranges will also be included.

The livestock products category will cover pigs, indigenous chickens, meat chickens, and chicken eggs, and there will be six items in the fishery products category, including basses, eels, milkfish, mouth breeders, and clams.

Chairman Su said the system will encourage farmers, fishermen, and livestock raisers to make advance reports of production plans while avoiding heavy financial losses.

It is not appropriate for the government to constantly take emergency measures to deal with the agricultural crises afterward, he said.

The COA will also take initiatives to help maintain the balance between production and marketing of the agricultural products.

To solve overproduction problems, the CPA will implement measures including sales promotion both for local markets and for exports, boosting processing into canned or other products, and increasing storage to meet needs when output slackens, Su added.

Pork was one of the 17 selected products that had its price falling steeply in recent weeks.

To cope with slack market demand and declining prices, the state-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp. (Taisugar) announced yesterday that it will cut the number of its pigs by 10 percent to 380,000, from the current 420,000.

Taisugar, Taiwan's largest pig producer, made the decision against the backdrop of the recent plunge in pork prices.

Source: The China Post

the Fish Site Editor

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