TAIPEI (CNA) — The government is set to spend NT$1.25 billion (US$42.23 million) and NT$1.2 billion on agriculture stimulus vouchers and culture vouchers from late June in an effort to help boost the two sectors which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, two Cabinet-level agencies said Wednesday.
The Council of Agriculture (COA) said it plans to issue 5 million vouchers, each with a face value of NT$250 to Taiwan nationals, starting later this month. The vouchers will be valid at 10 types of locations that sell agricultural products.
The vouchers will be issued in electronic form and consumers must log onto a specific website and enter their national ID number and mobile phone number to receive the voucher, although planning of the website is currently ongoing.
The agriculture stimulus voucher program seeks to generate about NT$1.7 billion in economic revenue for the agricultural sector, the COA said.
The COA decided to launch the program after a survey of more than 100 operators of recreational agriculture businesses, including those in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors, found that revenue fell by half in February and plummeted further in March and April due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, to encourage agricultural tour groups and consumption, the COA will provide an additional NT$100 subsidy for each person who is part of a tour group that visits the 10 categories of locations selling agricultural products.
The places where the NT$250 vouchers and NT$100 subsidy can be used include recreational farms, stores operated by members of recreational agriculture organizations, farm and fisheries specialty sales centers, direct sales centers for farm products run by farmers and stores run by agricultural tour operators, according to the COA.
The stimulus voucher program also covers direct sales centers for fisheries products, tourism-related markets selling locally produced fish and fishery products, stores run by forestry recreation parks affiliated with the Forestry Bureau and establishments set up by government certified farmers’ groups and organizations and their members.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture said it will issue 2 million NT$600 vouchers in electronic form to Taiwan nationals as well as foreign and Chinese spouses who hold residency permits and new immigrants, which will be valid from July 22 to Dec. 31.
Each person will be entitled to one NT$600 voucher which can be used to buy tickets for art exhibitions, performances, concerts, movies and other cultural and art events as well as for purchases at over 10,000 culture-related stores and venues, including bookstores and music stores, the ministry said in a statement.
The two programs are intended to complement the national stimulus voucher program unveiled last week which will allow Taiwan nationals and their spouses to buy NT$3,000 worth of vouchers for NT$1,000 in an effort to boost domestic consumption.