The resumption of custard apple exports from Taitung to China marks a significant triumph for the agricultural sector in the region. Following a more than two-year suspension, China lifted the ban in June this year, allowing the first batch of Taitung-grown custard apples to be shipped. The initial suspension, initiated in September 2021 due to the detection of mealy bugs in the fruit, had posed substantial challenges for Taitung County's custard apple industry.
The breakthrough came after the Chinese government granted approval to 25 orchards and three packing plants in Taitung for exporting custard apples to the mainland. The meticulous efforts to address concerns and meet the required standards underscore the commitment to quality control and adherence to international trade regulations.
The inaugural shipment, consisting of atemoyas—a hybrid variety of custard apples—arrived at Kaohsiung Port before being dispatched to China. The fruit was destined for Pingtan, Fujian, and subsequently to Jiangnan Market in Guangzhou City, Guangdong. Taitung County Magistrate Yao Ching-ling confirmed these reports, emphasizing the economic significance of atemoyas in Taitung. In 2020, the export value of the fruit had reached nearly NT$1.3 billion (US$41.27 million), making it a pivotal contributor to the local economy.
Yao Ching-ling highlighted the county government's sustained efforts over the past two years in marketing locally grown atemoyas and actively seeking the resumption of exports to China, a major export destination for the region. The successful resumption not only rejuvenates the custard apple industry but also showcases Taitung's resilience and ability to meet stringent international standards.
As custard apple exports regain momentum, the economic impact is expected to extend beyond Taitung, influencing the broader agricultural trade between Taiwan and China. This achievement serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts in overcoming challenges, ensuring the sustainability of the custard apple industry and reinforcing positive diplomatic and economic ties between the two regions.