Activist added to board of Taipei marketing company
Yang Ju- men ( ) , an activist known as the “Rice Bomber,” on Wednesday was appointed to serve on the board of directors of the Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co., a company established by Taipei City’s Department of Economic Development.
In the newly established tradition of using an unconventional recruiting process advocated by Mayor Ko Wen-je ( ) the Taipei City government had elected to reserve a board of directors seat for Yang, as opposed to its earlier plan to select all five candidates from the public sector.
A Taipei City government recruiting committee member who recommended Yang said that as a farmer of the younger generation and a long-time proponent for reforms of the marketing of fresh produce, he represents the much needed new blood for Taiwan’s agricultural sector.
Yang said that there are many shortcomings in the current system of marketing Taiwan’s agricultural products.
Farmers are rendered powerless against Taiwan’s inequitable agriculture market, and often bear the burden of high volatility in the prices of their crops, he continued.
Yang declined to give insights on what he hopes to accomplish in his new post, saying that he would not repeat what politicians do — accomplishing little of what is promised.
Between 2003 and 2004, Yang was responsible for planting 17 rice-filled improvised explosive devices across Taiwan in an bid to arouse public awareness of the government’s neglect of farmers, such as its decision to allow rice imports into Taiwan in accordance with World Trade Organization rules.