July 7, 2008


Taiwan offers subsidies for farmers to grow feed corn


The Taiwanese government has offered subsidies of NT$45,000 (US$1,475) per hectare Thursday (July 3, 2006)  to encourage farmers to grow corn on fallow land to help cope with a growing domestic shortage of feed corn.


The Agriculture and Food Agency under the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA) said high global corn prices meant the move is coming at the right time.


The COA is ready to promote the practice based on the success of trial cultivation of corn on fallow rice paddies last year, agency officials said. They added that more than 40 local farmers' associations have indicated willingness to follow suit.


By offering the subsidy and guaranteed prices for their crops, the Agriculture and Food Agency is hoping that farmers will grow corn on about 12,000 hectares, yielding about 60,000 tonnes of feed corn to meet local demand, the officials said.


An estimated 220,000 hectares of farmland in Taiwan is currently lying fallow at a time of soaring food prices. 


Taiwan's fallow land policy dates back to its accession to the World Trade Organization in January 2002. To meet membership requirements, the government adjusted its rice production policy by encouraging rice farmers not to plant rice so as to import rice from abroad.

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