President leads cleanup campaign in Taichung


TAIPEI — President Ma Ying-jeou helped local residents clean up a community in central Taiwan yesterday to show the government’s resolve in implementing the Farm Villages Revival Act as the Lunar New Year approaches.

Ma participated in the activity at an old house in Fengyuan, Taichung City, one of the more than 1,000 farming villages nationwide taking part in a cleanup drive launched by the Council of Agriculture prior to the arrival of the Feb. 3 Chinese New Year.

“We hope to bring prosperity to all of the country’s villages at the start of the new year through a thorough cleaning,” the president said.

During his visit, Ma also trumpeted the farm revival law passed last July that was conceived to help rebuild Taiwan’s rural areas.

Ma hailed the act as a milestone in Taiwan’s rural development and said it would allocate NT$150 billion (US$5 billion) over a 10-year period to help some 600,000 farming and fishing households throughout Taiwan.

“Through cooperation with grassroots forces, we hope to give rural villages a new lease on life,” he said.

One of the main goals of the law is to stem the exodus of young people from rural communities and encourage those who have already left for the city to return to help revitalize the areas.

It also hopes to restore the environmental integrity of rural parts of the country.