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 (嘉义) 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 公民新闻 by 公义使者

Banana growers scramble to cash in on soaring prices 

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(以下为中文对照)

香蕉价俏 农民抢种埋隐忧 影音

Banana growers scramble to cas香蕉价格走俏一整年,全台各地有种香蕉的农友,几乎个个都荷包满满,人人笑颜逐开,看好未来,南台湾的蕉农现在正进入「抢种」期,初估,光是嘉义地区的香蕉种植面积,已经超过去年的三成,香蕉苗更是供不应求,眼见满山满谷的香蕉即将成林,但公部门似乎未能掌握局势,任由农友抢种。

前年香蕉价格低迷,蕉农还一度包游览车北上农委会抗议,要求政府收购,但去年一整年,香蕉价格一路看俏,以目前一级品每公斤达35元的价格,的确很难叫蕉农不心动,但让人忧心的是贸然抢种的后果。盘商陈先生忧心的表示,约半年后,香蕉的产量将会是现在的好几倍,届时价格走向颇令人担忧。

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