A Council of Agriculture-led delegation from Taiwan is to travel to Moscow on Wednesday next week to take part in a two-day promotion of Taiwanese agricultural products.
Russia imports more than US$28 billion in agricultural produce, while yam exports to Russia could reach NT$300 per kilogram, the council said.
China, the US and Japan would remain the major export destinations for the nation’s agricultural products, but the council is ready to develop a new market in Russia, as much of the produce grown in Taiwan is not found there, council Deputy Minister Chen Tien-shou (陳添壽) said.
Department of West Asian and African Affairs Director Ali Yang (楊心怡) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that the number of Russian tourists visiting Taiwan last year increased by 85 percent, or 10,000 individuals, from 2017.
MOFA Commonwealth of Independent States Section Director Chao Shih-hsuan (趙世絢) said that more than 8,000 Russian tourists arrived in the first half of the year, and more are expected before the end of the year.
Russian commercial representatives were impressed with Taiwanese produce and enjoyed mangoes, wax apples and pineapples, Yang said.
They were able to take some mangoes with them when they returned home, after they were cleared by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, she said.
Russians really likes mangoes, council Department of International Affairs section official Tang Shu-hua (唐淑華) said.
Russia’s predominate crop is potatoes, largely due to that nation’s climate, and the majority of the fruits and vegetables available there are imported, Tang said.
Russia imported US$28 billion in agricultural produce in 2017, while fruit imports last year reached US$5 billion, Tang said.
There are buyers even when retail prices for imported sweet potatoes reach NT$300 per kilogram, while a cluster of Taiwanese grapes has sold for NT$6,000, showing that Russia is a promising market, Tang added.
Local agricultural unions said that they support the delegation’s trip, as there could be a market in Russia in the fall for Taiwanese cabbage.