Kinmen trying to grow more Chinese sorghum
Central News Agency
2014-02-22 10:24 PM
Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) Kinmen County is encouraging farmers to adopt a variety of sorghum from China that has proved to be better for alcohol production than the one mainly used in the outlying county, a government official said Saturday. The county government is aiming to increase cultivation of the Chinese Liangnuo No.1 sorghum variety to 80 hectares this year, the official said. To this end, the Kinmen County Agricultural Research Institute on Wednesday held a presentation to encourage farmers to shift from the Taichung No. 5 variety to the Liangnuo No.1. According to the institute, the Liangnuo No. 1 has a higher concentration of starch than the Taichung No. 5 and is therefore better for alcohol production. Last year, Kinmen farmers planted 37 hectares of the Chinese cultivar, which produced a total harvest of 100,030 kilograms. Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc. purchased all the sorghum at NT$40 (US$1.3) per kilo, while it bought the Taichung No. 5 at NT$38 per kilo. This year, the county plans to allocate a bigger acreage to the cultivation of Liangnuo No.1 and is encouraging farmers to register to grow the species, the official said. Taichung No.5 is usually planted annually in August and September and is harvested in winter, therefore, farmers can plant the Chinese variety in spring when the land usually lies fallow, the official said. Currently, Kinmen produces only one-tenth of the sorghum required by Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc., while the rest is imported, according to a company spokesman. Sorghum is known as a high-energy, drought tolerant crop. As the outlying island's dominant crop, it is grown not only as a dietary staple, but also to produce the popular alcoholic beverage known as Kinmen Kaoliang. (By Chen Shou-gow and Evelyn Kao)
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