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I-Mei to buy another 100 tons of bananas from desperate Taiwanese farmers

Taiwanese banana growers have recently been slashing prices amid a massive oversupply, with top-graded (Grade A) bananas falling to NT$6 (€0.17) per kilogram and lowest-graded (Grade C) to NT$1 (€0.03) per kilogram.

The CEO of food giant I-Mei Food Co. decided last Friday to purchase 100 tons of top-grade bananas at a price nearly three times higher than the current market price. This way, I-Mei joins the government's banana price stabilization initiative. Last Monday it announced it would buy another 100 tons of bananas to tackle the problem.

Following this announcement, the Council of Agriculture (COA) has revealed a string of plans to help farmers fight with massive oversupply and unreasonable low prices. COA Deputy Minister Chen Chi-chung explained that banana plantation area has reached 6,000 hectares this year, which is slightly less than last year. Total production has decreased by 1 percent from last year's 190,000 tons. However, market prices remain low this year.

According to taiwannews.com.tw, Chen said the council will continue to turn extra bananas into an export cash cow and sell them to Japan, the Middle East and other overseas markets, with target export volume to be revised up to 1,000 tons (from 500 tons). Marketing measures will be implemented at different local hyper- and supermarket chains to drive demands.

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