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Government invests big to support local pineapple growers

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Premier Su Tseng-chang traveled to Pingtung County on Sunday to attend a press conference highlighting government support for Taiwan's pineapple growers. Taiwan's sweet-tasting pineapples are of the highest quality in the world, he said, and despite China's ban on pineapple imports from Taiwan, the nation can take this opportunity to expand exports to other countries and develop new sales channels. The government plans to invest NT$1 billion (US$35.3 million) in support for local farmers to ensure pineapple farm prices remain at the level averaged over the past two years. A "national agricultural product team" will also be established to open up more sales channels.

In recent years, domestic sales have accounted for approximately 90 percent of Taiwan's annual pineapple production value, and overseas sales only 10 percent. Aside from China, Taiwan also exports the fruit to such countries as Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada. While Japan's quarantine inspections are among the most stringent worldwide, Taiwan pineapples have always passed the inspections, proving the products are indeed of the most outstanding quality, Premier Su said.

The premier instructed the Council of Agriculture to develop more diverse sales channels abroad. This year's export target to Japan, for instance, has been raised from 3,500 metric tons to 5,000 metric tons. The government will also establish a national agricultural product team to promote all produce in their respective seasons and export to countries worldwide rather than to any one country in particular. Having adjusted its overall export portfolio, Taiwan now exports more fruit to more countries than ever, including green jujubes to South Korea and guava to the United States, the premier said.

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