Taiwan can help feed countries facing food insecurity amid coronavirus

Taiwan continues to donate rice to nations struggling with food deprivation

Taiwan-grown rice (Agriculture and Food Agency photo)

Taiwan-grown rice (Agriculture and Food Agency photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is proving it can contribute to food security in addition to global health with the donation of rice to some of the hungriest countries in the world.

During the first five months of the year, Taiwan donated 10,980 tons of rice in humanitarian aid to nations suffering from derailed food supply chains due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Chuang Lao-ta (莊老達), deputy director-general of the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA).

Recipients in the food relief program this year include Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and the poorest areas in Africa exposed to natural disasters and food shortages. Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Eswatini are among the 16 nations to benefit from the pledged 36,410 tons of rice pledged in 2020, according to AFA.

Since 2002, the island country has committed an accumulated 400,000 tons of rice to 40 countries and areas suffering from famine, poverty, and upheaval. The international relief is conducted in collaboration with NGOs and on the condition that domestic supply will not be affected.

The rice, sourced from the government's grain stockpiles, is also used to feed students and disadvantaged groups in addition to being the material for rice products and wine as the country seeks to boost the economic value of its agricultural produce.