The Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station has unveiled a new strain of jujube that it hopes will be popular around the world.
“Kaohsiung 10,” a new strain developed last year, has an average weight of 100g, a long shelf life and is high-yielding, the station said.
Taiwan is a leading light in cultivating the fruit, also known as the Chinese honey date, said Huang Te-chang (黃德昌), the station’s director. The station has developed seven varieties since 1996, with its “Kaohsiung 8” and “Kaohsiung 7” being extremely popular, Huang said.
Huang is hoping Taiwan-grown jujubes, which are a good source of antioxidants, could become popular on the global market in a similar way to kiwi fruit from New Zealand.
Once inspections are completed, the station will begin selling jujubes to Japan next year.
The station’s goal is to launch one new strain of the fruit every two years to help open up the export market, said Chiu Chu-ying (邱祝櫻), a researcher at the station.
Although China, Thailand and India all produce jujubes, Taiwan is the only country to have managed to export them, Chiu said.
Taiwan exports the fruit to Canada, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Southeast Asian countries, she said, adding that the Southeast Asian market has grown significantly in the past two years.