《TAIPEI TIMES》 Green jujubes from Pingtung make a mark in Dubai
From left, Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Men-an, “Outstanding Farmer Award” recipient Pan Chih-min and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chou Chun-mi attend a campaign to promote jujubes in Pingtung County on Jan. 10. Photo: Chen Yen-ting, Taipei Times
/ Staff writer, with CNA
This year’s first consignment of fresh green jujubes from Pingtung County, the second-largest grower of the fruit in Taiwan, was recently exported to Dubai, Pingtung County Mayor Pan Men-an （潘孟安） said on Facebook yesterday.
“Pingtung’s green jujubes have already been flown to Dubai,” Pan wrote.
Photographs from Dubai show juicy sweet green jujubes from Pingtung on sale at a supermarket in the United Arab Emirates city, Pan said, touting the high quality of the fruit, even though only a small quantity has been exported.
“We want to open up new markets using a quality-based product approach,” he added.
Farmer Pan Chih-min （潘志民）, who grew the exported green jujubes, yesterday said that he started supplying Dubai last year, when 300kg of fresh jujubes were flown to the Persian Gulf city.
This year, his first shipment of the fresh fruit to Dubai, also weighing 300kg, was sent on Monday last week, said Pan, a Farmer’s Award winner, and he expects to export more later in the year.
Pan, the only farmer in Pingtung who exports fresh green jujubes to Dubai, uses greenhouse farming to maintain stable output and sell the fruit to Japan, Dubai and Hong Kong.
Exported fresh green jujubes sell for about NT$120 to NT$150 （US$4.34 to US$5.43） per kilogram, he said, adding that the price is about 20 percent higher than last year due to the crop being badly damaged by winter rain.
Green jujube plantations in Pingtung County cover an area of 557 hectares, accounting for 30 percent of the nation’s total output.
It follows Kaohsiung, the largest green jujube-growing region in the country, with 35 percent of the national output.
However, Taiwan’s largest green jujube-producing township is Gaoshu Township （高樹） in Pingtung.
Gaoshu has about 321 hectares of green jujube plantations producing about 10,954 tonnes per year, with an estimated value of NT$630 million, the county government said.
Last year, Pingtung exported about 257 tonnes of green jujubes, with a total export value of NT$190 million, the county government said.