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Taichung persimmons ferried to Fujian province for first time

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Five tons of persimmons from Taichung were shipped on a ferry directly to Fujian province's Pingtan County for the first time yesterday, as the launch of a new export destination for Taiwan's agricultural produce.

Taichung City's Agriculture Bureau said that this new direct shipping method to transport agricultural produce can carry 300 tons to Pingtan County within 2 1/2 hours.

According to the bureau, shipping Taiwan's agricultural produce directly to China can make the products more competitive in the international market.

Taichung Deputy Mayor Shyu Jong-shyoung (徐中雄) said that there used to be issues with shipping costs and time when transporting Taiwan's agricultural produce to China, and shipping produce through flights is inefficient, as aircraft can only carry 15 tons on a typical route.

“This is a new opportunity for Taichung's agricultural produce to be shipped to China more efficiently,” said Shyu.

Chang Tung-hai of the Farmers' Association of Shihkang District said that with the new direct shipping method to transport agricultural produce, shipping times through sea and air are almost the same, but the cost of shipping by sea can save sellers at least 30 percent in logistics fees.

Chang said that this is a huge benefit for farmers, and he hoped the government can launch similar shipping methods to help export Taiwan's agricultural produce to China.

Shyu said that the direct ferry connection between Taichung City and Pingtan County was first launched in 2011, and there are six ferries which travel between the two destinations weekly.

According to Taichung City's Agriculture Bureau, except for persimmons, fruit from Taichung City's Heping District will also be shipped to Shanghi City and Nantong City this year.

Taichung City also said that the city will hold a marketing event in Shanghi City on Dec. 14 to promote Taiwan's agricultural produce.

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