Banana growers scramble to cash in on soaring prices

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As a result of the continued rise of banana prices over the last year, banana growers the length and breadth of the country look like the proverbial cat that got the cream, delighting in their bulging wallets. Optimistic about the future, southern Taiwanese banana growers are currently in the ‘rush-planting’ period, and in Chiayi District (嘉義) alone, the area of planted bananas has tripled from that of last year, leading to an extreme shortage of banana saplings.

However, it appears that as banana groves expand into a veritable banana forests, government departments have yet to fully grasp the state of affairs, and have allowed farmers to continue ‘rush-planting.’

In the year before last, banana prices were so low that banana growers felt compelled to make a trip north to protest outside the Council of Agriculture (COA), demanding that the government purchase their surplus of bananas. However, for the whole of last year, banana prices remained high, and at the current price of US$1 per kilogram, it is understandable why banana growers are so excited; worrying some, however, is that the current rush-planting frenzy will have adverse consequences.

Wholesaler Mr. Chen worries that six months down the line, when the banana production will be several times that of now, the price trend may suddenly begin to plummet.

PeoPo 公民新聞 by 公義使者

Banana growers scramble to cash in on soaring prices 

URL:http://www.peopo.org/news/111619

 

(以下為中文對照)

香蕉價俏 農民搶種埋隱憂 影音

香蕉價格走俏一整年,全台各地有種香蕉的農友,幾乎個個都荷包滿滿,人人笑顏逐開,看好未來,南臺灣的蕉農現在正進入「搶種」期,初估,光是嘉義地區的香蕉種植面積,已經超過去年的三成,香蕉苗更是供不應求,眼見滿山滿谷的香蕉即將成林,但公部門似乎未能掌握局勢,任由農友搶種。

前年香蕉價格低迷,蕉農還一度包遊覽車北上農委會抗議,要求政府收購,但去年一整年,香蕉價格一路看俏,以目前一級品每公斤達35元的價格,的確很難叫蕉農不心動,但讓人憂心的是貿然搶種的後果。盤商陳先生憂心的表示,約半年後,香蕉的產量將會是現在的好幾倍,屆時價格走向頗令人擔憂。

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