Perhaps climate change will soon turn the South Korean mainland into a producer of bananas, mangoes and passion fruit. Bananas already grow on sub-tropical Jeju Island off the southern coast, but farmers elsewhere are reporting successes, according to stockdailydish.com.
Agronomists in Heunghae in the south-east of the country say “planting went smoothly” last year, and that farmers expect to harvest the fruit in mid-March, while their counterparts in Taean County in the south-west hope to gather their bananas in February.
Experts in both regions agree that the common factor is global warming. They have been experimenting with growing bananas and other fruit in greenhouses for years, but have noticed definite changes since last autumn.
Banana flowers appeared in Heunghae in November, and the authorities in the wider Pohang area see a chance to revitalise the regional economy, the daily reports. The Pohang Agricultural Technology Centre raises the hope that bananas could boost farmers‘ incomes far in excess of what they can earn from planting rice – if properly implemented.
Other regions of South Korea also see the need to come to terms with climate change, as the Rural Development Department expects the area of the country classified as sub-tropical to increase from 10.1% in 2020 to 26.6% in 2060, and rising to 62.3% in 2080, Kyunghyang Sinmun reports.
Haenam County‘s agricultural development agency in the far south-west has already been experimenting with bananas, mangoes and even coffee for nearly two years, the news site reported at the time.