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Ministries censured for mismanaging clusters

In many of the so-called farmhouse clusters, there are no farm tools but rather expensive sedans

Ministries censured for mismanaging clusters

The Control Yuan, the government watchdog, censured the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of the Interior Wednesday for not doing a good job, after it was found that in many of the so-called farmhouse clusters, there were no farm tools but rather expensive sedans.
Control Yuan member Liu Yu-shan said that the idea of farmhouse clusters was realized after the government amended the Agricultural Development Act in 2000 to help farmers who do not have a house.
Under the relevant regulations, the establishment of farmhouse clusters on agricultural lands is allowed once the clusters can accommodate at least 20 households.
As of June in 2010, 85 clusters had been erected around Taiwan, housing a total of 2,057 families. The farmhouse clusters occupy 42 hectares of land for the farming of 421 hectares, Liu said.
The policy was formulated to prevent agricultural lands from being used for non-agricultural purposes and to protect the non- agricultural environment.
However, it was found that most of the farmhouse clusters were built on "good farming lands" while the registered farming lands were located far from the clusters, in remote mountain or forest areas that are not suitable for farming, Lin said.
The farmhouse cluster projects have apparently "changed the practice of building farmers' residences close to the farm lands, " Lin said.
In an investigation of the matter, Lin said, he and his colleagues found that some of the home owners did not even know where their "farm lands" were.
Many of the clusters were built as luxury residential communities, Lin added.
Displaying photos of the houses, Lin said when the Control Yuan members visited the villages, they did not see any agricultural implements "but rather many luxury sedans."
Agricultural land owners enjoy many concessions on land tax, land value appreciation tax, donation tax and inheritance tax, while the cluster farmhouses have an advantage in the real estate market, Lin said.


Updated : 2021-05-11 08:42 GMT+08:00