Taipei, June 17 (CNA) Taiwanese farmers expressed optimism Sunday about China's decision to allow imports of Taiwanese rice, although some said local farmers should keep their rice-cultivation technology to themselves.
The comments were in response to China's Taiwan Affairs Office Director, Wang Yi, who announced earlier that day that China will allow imports of Taiwanese rice.
Chien Ming-chin, head of a farmers' association in Yunlin County, southern Taiwan, said he welcomed the decision but urged the agriculture authorities to get involved to ensure good prices for the rice and regular orders instead of just a one-time purchase.
He added that Chinese officials visited the association around two weeks ago to discuss matters related to exports of Taiwan-grown rice to China.
Tsai Ping-kun, a farmers' association chief in Chiayi County, also in southern Taiwan, said exports of Taiwanese rice to China should be a long-term commitment and that markets for Taiwanese rice should be clearly delineated from those for Chinese rice.
However, rice farmers in the Eastern Rift Valley in Taitung County warned that Taiwanese farmers should not transfer the technology of growing quality rice to China and should keep distribution costs down when exporting rice to China.
Tu Chin-jung, who leads a production and marketing team associated with a local farmers' association in Taitung's Luye Township, cautioned that farmers should avoid technology transfers and should not relocate to China to grow rice because Taiwan's rice market would suffer if the technology were obtained by the Chinese.
Chiu Chui-chang, a former winner of a local rice quality competition, urged large-scale Chinese businesses to purchase rice directly from Taiwanese farmers to help the farmers reduce shipping costs and avoid having to pay commission to middlemen.
(By Yeh Tzu-kang, Chang Jung-hsiang, Tyson Lu and Jamie Wang)