Tougher greenhouses to help farmers withstand typhoons

The Council of Agriculture says it plans to provide farmers 2,000 hectares of enhanced greenhouse facilities over the next five years to hedge against crop damage from natural disasters. A number of recent typhoons have caused tremendous damage to crops on the island. Cash compensation for agriculture-related losses this year have amounted to NT$2.3 billion (US$73 million) up to October 10.

Deputy agriculture minister Chen Chi-chung explained the measures that the agriculture council plans to take to increase greenhouse facilities. Chen said, "We were originally planning on constructing 1,000 hectares [worth of greenhouse facilities]. But if we were to plan 2,000 hectares of such facilities in the next five years, crops damaged by typhoons would be kept to a minimum. This way we would be able to produce about 55,000 hectares worth of crops. That's enough to provide one month's supply of food for Taipei City alone. Then speculation on crop prices would be prevented as well."

The ministry said some farmers have been advised to build greenhouses using steel structures since June this year. These strengthened greenhouse structures were not damaged during the recent typhoons. Chen said his office will continue to advise farmers on storm-proofing their facilities.

Source: Radio Taiwan International