Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday hailed US approval of imports of fresh guavas from Taiwan, while touting the government’s success in bolstering the exports of pineapples, oranges and jambu fruit this year.
It was a gratifying outcome after 10 years of negotiations with the US, DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said, adding that Taiwan would be the first country in Asia authorized to export guavas to the US.
Kuan, who doubles as DPP caucus whip, led a dozen DPP legislators in biting into the crunchy green fruit at a news conference yesterday.
The first major shipment to the US would be made before the end of the year, after reaching bilateral agreement on certification, production management, pest control and quarantine measures for fresh guavas, Kuan said.
“It has been a tough, prolonged process, as we have sent guavas over there for testing since first applying in 2009,” DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said. “Now after receiving the green light, we are confident that Taiwan will become the largest supplier of guavas to the US market. We have already exported to Canada, but the US is a bigger market, and we will have an upsurge in sales in the coming years.”
The DPP government is the most supportive of Taiwanese farmers and has done much to boost their income, she said.
“Last year, we reached a 20-year high for fruit exports to other countries. For the first half of this year, fruit exports reached 1.16 million tonnes, valued at NT$85.3 billion [US$2.79 billion],” Yeh said.
“We expect fruit exports by the end of the year to surpass last year’s, making farmers and local government officials happy,” she added.
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