GuyInTaiwan wrote:Taiwan has a massive amount of fallow land. Managed properly, they could put a lot of livestock on it and it would actually improve the fertility of the land. Maybe they'd never be self-sufficient for meat, but they could certainly increase the amount they produce here fairly easily. Subsidies and a lack of immagination make for inefficient and/or destructive farming practices.
Incidentally, regarding rich people buying up farmland, last year, there were two girls at my school whose families have done this. Their fathers are brothers. One was an engineer in Taipei and one in Xinzhu. One quit and moved out here to open a fruit farm. A couple of years later, his brother did the same. My wife has been to one of the farms and talked with them. They make enough money to cover their living costs. I've also been to some other kinds of places like that around here, including a tea shop (MM will know the one -- it has the statues of the dinosaurs outside) that is run by a couple who moved out here thirty two years ago to become tea farmers from scratch and have since been able to afford to educate their children abroad. If I could ever have a little farm that provided enough income and/or food to cover the bills, I'd quit teaching for sure. Looking around at places now.
GuyInTaiwan wrote:Actually, I wouldn't try to do much more than provide enough for my own use and maybe some to sell or trade to others. I'd still have other investments.
headhonchoII wrote:The state chooses to subsidise some sectors over others. Obviously Taipower, Taiwan Sugar, Taiwan Salt, Formosa Plastics/Oil, China Air and Evergreen, they are supported by state subsidies. As are many exporters who are given specially zoned land cheap, export rebates, free trade zones, imported low cost workers, low regulations, cheap water and electricity etc etc.
No one is saying that agriculture should not be competitive, at the same time WTO destroyed some farmers liveliehoods, so that should be compensated appropriately. Anyway in the end most farmers are old and not very wealthy, it's no harm to give them a better pension when they get old and sick. They of course are citizens and not economic units!
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