The Cabinet-Level Council of Agriculture (COA) stated that because of the lighting technology developed by the Taiwanese government's agricultural technology research institute in southern Taiwan, Taiwanese will no longer need to wait until summer to buy passion fruit on the local market.
In Taiwan, passion fruit is mostly grown in Puli Township, Nantou County in central Taiwan, with the harvest lasting from July to September. As a result, the fruit is only available in markets from July to January the following year.
Nevertheless, beginning this year the tropical fruit will be available all year-round. Orchard growers in southern Taiwan have been harvesting passion fruit they grew since late February, the COA's Kaohsiung District Agricultural Improvement Station, located in Pingtung County, said on Tuesday.
Over the past three years, the station has instructed orchard operators in the southern cities and county of Kaohsiung, Tainan and Pingtung on how to grow passion fruit in mesh houses, using artificial lighting as a substitute for sunlight.
Thanks to illumination adjustment technology developed by the station and its know-how in orchard preparation and mesh house pollination techniques, passion fruit growers in the south are able to pick ripe fruit from February to June, before their counterparts in Puli begin their harvests in July.