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US$50 mil. worth of mangoes to be exported in 2014

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan will be able to export US$50 million worth of mangoes in 2014, said Minister of the Council of Agriculture (COA, 農委會主委) Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) yesterday.

According to Chen, the mango trees in Tainan have been fruitful, which will probably lead to a successful Tainan International Mango Festival at Zoumalai Farm in Tainan County.

The festival will be held from June 28 to July 6. This is the festival's second year in operation. The event is held by the Council of Agriculture (COA) and the Tainan City Government.

Intrigued tourists are able to purchase discount tickets to the festival for NT$150, and another NT$100 worth of coupons. The coupons may be used to purchase mango ice cream, mango cakes and pastries as well as fresh mangoes.

The farmers are unable to profit whenever crops are over-abundant or when natural disasters strike, so the people are encouraged to purchase more agriculture products when they are abundant, said Chen. “Last year, we kicked off the first Mango Festival because the mango farmers in Tainan reaped a large crop. This year, the farmers have reported an additional 25 percent of pineapple crops ... after exporting a portion of them, we discovered that the prices have hiked instead of dropping,” said Chen.

Tainan Agriculture Bureau Chief Hsu Han-ching (許漢卿) noted that the farmers in Tainan have succeeded in producing 60 percent more mangoes in 2013 than in previous years; the best were sold at NT$100 per kilogram.

According to the COA's Agriculture and Food Agency, mangoes of the same excellent quality were sold in Taiwan for about NT$70 to NT$80 and got even better prices if they were exported; increased exports would be an efficient way to adjust product sales. Pineapple prices, for example, may increase to around 50 percent when exported, said the agency.

In 2013, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council invited buyers from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Brunei, China, Hong Kong and Macau to import mangoes from Tainan; US$43.32 million worth of mangoes were exported.

The United States, Canada and Vietnam will be buying mangoes from Taiwan this year, with 28 trade groups expecting to visit Tainan on June 28; the joint purchase may reach as much as US$50 million this year, said Chen.

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