Taipei-Some 20 metric tons of fresh cabbages were shipped from Taiwan on Saturday, bound for a new market in the United Arab Emirates, in an initiative launched by the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) and vegetable exporters.
At a ceremony to mark the new venture, AFA Director-General Hu Jong-i (???), along with Siluo Township chief Zheng Ling-hui (???) and other local officials, loaded boxes of cabbages onto a delivery truck in Yunlin County, central Taiwan.
The 20 metric tons of fresh cabbages will be shipped to the UAE capital Dubai, testing that market for the produce for the first time, Hu told reporters after the ceremony.
Currently, the main overseas markets for Taiwan cabbages are Japan, Canada, and Hong Kong, he said.
Plans are in place to ship another 400 metric tons of Taiwanese cabbages to the Middle East city by the end of April, he said.
The cabbages shipped in Saturday were of a softer variety, but that presented a challenge, as soft cabbages tend to rot faster, Hu said, adding that cold chain technology is being used to keep the produce fresh.
The shipment from Taiwan to Dubai will take roughly 15 days, and Customs procedures will require another 18 days, according to the exporters.
Taiwanese farmers usually send their cabbages to cities with large ethnic Chinese populations, but the rich Middle East markets also have great potential, Hu said, adding that Dubai can serve as a gateway to other markets in the region.
Taiwan has produced good quality cabbages this season, thanks to cool temperatures, and they have been fetching a wholesale price of NT$6 (US$0.21) per kilogram in competitive international markets, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel