Fri, Oct 18, 2019 - Page 2 News List

After long negotiations, US to import guavas

GO-AHEAD:Taiwan becomes just the second country allowed to import the exotic fruit to the US, a boon to Taiwan farmers after a decade of negotiations

By Wu Hsin-tien and Dennis Xie  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A guava tree bearing fruits is pictured in Taiwan in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of the Council of Agriculture

The US Department of Agriculture yesterday approved the imports of fresh guava from Taiwan after 10 years of negotiations, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday.

Taiwan is an endemic area of the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), the melon fruit fly (Bactrocera cucurbitae) and the fruit fly (Bactrocera tau) — pests that might be found on guavas grown in Taiwan.

The two sides have been discussing quarantine requirements on pests to address these concerns, COA Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Deputy Director-General Chou Hui-chuan (鄒慧娟) said.

The application was filed to the US 10 years ago, along with documents of production management, pest species and pest control regulations, she said.

The evaluation on the US side took a long time, Chou said, adding that after documents were reviewed on the first round, the US sent delegations to inspect the certification and product management systems in Taiwan.

Fresh guavas are to be stored in an environment below 1?C for 17 consecutive days before arriving in the US, and cover bags will be applied to keep pests away from smaller guavas that have a diameter of less than 4 cm, the council said.

Every location of guava production and packing has to be officially registered and certified, Chou said.

Taiwan is the first country after Mexico that has been authorized to import fresh guavas into the US, she added.

After the announcement comes into effect, both sides will sign more documents and confirm further directions for farmers to follow, Chou said, adding that the first shipment of guavas could be sent to the US as early as the end of this year.

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