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Monday, January 6, 2014

What! A Market in Campus?

Barry Hsüeh

On one recent Wednesday, I saw that there is now a traditional market in Feng Chia University (FCU) campus. To know more about the market, I went to ask the staff of the General Affairs Office. After a short interview, I totally understood why FCU allows these vendors to sell their products on campus. 

All photos by the author

So, who are these farmers and merchants and where do they come from? Most of them are local people. They have come to Feng Chia to share their farm produce with the FCU community. Teachers, staff members, students, and people living nearby all come to have a visit and buy some fruits and vegetables. When I visited with the vendors, I found that they are a little different from the vendors at the traditional market outside campus; their fruits and vegetables are mostly organic produce that they grow themselves.

The Taiwan Council of Agriculture (COA) has recently been encouraging universities and hospitals to establish small markets so that people can buy agricultural products conveniently and farmers can earn some extra money. The vendors at FCU come to campus with their products every Wednesday. They arrive at 8:00 and they leave at 17:00. They are located between the Sciences building and the Civil Engineering building. All venders are situated on the boulevard between the two buildings. (Here’s a tip for people who are interested in buying some of these products – when it is almost time for the vendors to go home, their prices go down.)

Inviting local farms to sell their produce on campus benefits many people in many ways. Everyone at FCU benefits because shopping “at home” is more convenient than going to the supermarket. Feng Chia University teachers and staff members are also happier because they can go shopping together in their free time. This is a good chance for co-workers to shop and socialize at the same time.

Perhaps this new produce market inside the FCU campus will become larger in the future, and more and more people will benefit from the convenience and low prices and the farmers will benefit from having these extra customers. Next Wednesday, when you are taking your afternoon break, why not take a walk through FCU’s new produce market? 

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