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Cooperation in Agriculture Sparks Hopes for Taiwan Farmers

Agricultural cooperation between mainland and Taiwan has entered a brand-new "win-win" stage, promoting sustainable and steady growth of agriculture on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, officials from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said Tuesday.

"The deepening cooperation in agriculture between the mainland and Taiwan sparks hopes for Taiwan farmers", Yu Yongwei, head of Taiwan affairs office of the MOA, said at the ongoing third China Agricultural Trade Fair (CATF).

Yu said the mainland and Taiwan are complementary in agricultural resources: Taiwan's agricultural industry boasts abundant farm produce varieties, advanced technology, scientific management, and an export-oriented marketing network.

The mainland has a rich labor force, various natural resources, improved infrastructure, and a healthy, steady macroeconomic environment, he said.

He held that cooperation between the two sides will lead to a better deployment of the pooled agricultural resources.

He Ziyang, deputy director of the general office of the MOA agreed with Yu that cooperation between the mainland and Taiwan will help the island expand its development space and feed its land and labor resource demand, while helping the mainland transform the mode of agricultural growth.

China is seeing warm communication between non-governmental agricultural organizations on both sides of the Straits in building cooperation channels while agricultural experimental zones jointly operated by both sides have made great achievements.

Incomplete statistics show that nearly 5,000 agricultural enterprises from Taiwan have invested in the mainland with a total contract investment of approximately US$4 billion at the end of 2004.

The Chinese government has issued a series of policies favorable to Taiwanese farmers, such as the zero tariff policy on 15 kinds of Taiwanese fruit from this August.

Over 40 agricultural groups and enterprises from Taiwan attended the third CATF which opened here Tuesday, bringing over 20 varieties of tropical fruits and more than 200 varieties of processed farm produce from Taiwan.

(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2005)

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