Horticulture in Taiwan

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Taiwan, over the past few years has achieved world recognition in terms of horticultural production. The country has vastly specialized in fruit, vegetable, and floriculture crop production in the horticultural sector. In turn, it has earned recognition in the world market that directly deals with horticultural crops. As far as fruit crop is of concern, pineapple is a leading horticultural commodity that Taiwan keenly specializes in producing. The Taiwan Pineapple Corporation is a significant part in making the pineapple production a worthwhile venture that has been causing worldwide competitors to raise eyebrows.

The production area of pineapple in Taiwan is 12068 hectares. The island has a geographic advantage over other regions, which highly encourages the successful growth and harvest of fruits. The eastern coast of the island forms an extensively suitable area for the growth of pineapples where temperatures and rainfall are quite favorable.

Over the years, the production volume of pineapples in Taiwan has exceedingly increased surpassing even major exporters such as Japan. The production volume of pineapples in Taiwan has been on an increasing trend. The major reason behind the increased volume within the many years of production is the introduction and exploitation of the canning industry. Since pineapples are easily perishable, their exportation was highly limited by this fact. However, introduction of canning increased the longevity of the fruit crops after harvesting. The production volume number stands at 145,881 metric tons within a year. The amount of pineapple volume produced can be categorized into three leading pineapples. They include the Cayenne, Golden, and the Spain pineapples. Each pineapple has its unique features, which makes them unique and quite desirable by countries such as China.

Pineapples in Taiwan have value in terms of exports from the country. In terms of monetary value, pineapples from Taiwan grown for exportation are highly valued by China and Japan. Recent records indicate that the pineapples exported from Taiwan are valued at approximately $1000 for every ton. This value has highly increased since Taiwan recognized its potential of producing quality pineapples that are worth exporting. In turn, this has made pineapples the third highest earners in Taiwan; this is after rice and sugar.

Rice is the leading vegetable crop in Taiwan, and serves a major export in the country atop its significant use domestically. The south and western plains of the island form the key areas of planting the crop. In 2004, rice ranked as the most crucial crop within Taiwan and covered several hectares of land. Additionally, in 2005, the crop still stood as quite vital to the country with the increased hectares of land used to plant it. Paddy and brown rice make up the types of the crop planted within the island in large-scale proportions. Since early 2000s, rice production areas have ranged between 200000 hectares to 300000 hectares. However, the demand for rice from Taiwan has reached a level where it has passed the supply level. Nonetheless, various strategies are being implemented to increase the production, such as increased fertilizer supply.

Volume production of rice has sharply changed since it became a major export in Taiwan. Volume production by 1951 was around 1.5 million tons, but by 1976, it had increased by almost half. However, over the years, its production has fluctuated and does not have a constant increase or decrease in volume. The following table is a self-explanatory display of the rice production in Taiwan since 1960.

Market Year Production Unit of Measure Growth Rate
1960 1778 (1000 MT) NA
1961 1875 (1000 MT) 5.46 %
1962 1965 (1000 MT) 4.80 %
1963 1961 (1000 MT) -0.20 %
1964 2089 (1000 MT) 6.53 %
1965 2184 (1000 MT) 4.55 %
1966 2213 (1000 MT) 1.33 %
1967 2245 (1000 MT) 1.45 %
1968 2342 (1000 MT) 4.32 %
1969 2159 (1000 MT) -7.81 %
1970 2291 (1000 MT) 6.11 %
1971 2152 (1000 MT) -6.07 %
1972 2270 (1000 MT) 5.48 %
1973 2097 (1000 MT) -7.62 %
1974 2280 (1000 MT) 8.73 %
1975 2319 (1000 MT) 1.71 %
1976 2253 (1000 MT) -2.85 %
1977 2384 (1000 MT) 5.81 %
1978 2249 (1000 MT) -5.66 %
1979 2254 (1000 MT) 0.22 %
1980 2166 (1000 MT) -3.90 %
1981 2185 (1000 MT) 0.88 %
1982 2284 (1000 MT) 4.53 %
1983 2286 (1000 MT) 0.09 %
1984 2065 (1000 MT) -9.67 %
1985 2000 (1000 MT) -3.15 %
1986 1815 (1000 MT) -9.25 %
1987 1748 (1000 MT) -3.69 %
1988 1697 (1000 MT) -2.92 %
1989 1716 (1000 MT) 1.12 %
1990 1662 (1000 MT) -3.15 %
1991 1673 (1000 MT) 0.66 %
1992 1498 (1000 MT) -10.46 %
1993 1636 (1000 MT) 9.21 %
1994 1511 (1000 MT) -7.64 %
1995 1517 (1000 MT) 0.40 %
1996 1420 (1000 MT) -6.39 %
1997 1463 (1000 MT) 3.03 %
1998 1311 (1000 MT) -10.39 %
1999 1349 (1000 MT) 2.90 %
2000 1342 (1000 MT) -0.52 %
2001 1245 (1000 MT) -7.23 %
2002 1271 (1000 MT) 2.09 %
2003 1164 (1000 MT) -8.42 %
2004 1011 (1000 MT) -13.14 %
2005 1033 (1000 MT) 2.18 %
2006 1100 (1000 MT) 6.49 %
2007 955 (1000 MT) -13.18 %
2008 1025 (1000 MT) 7.33 %
2009 1111 (1000 MT) 8.39 %
2010 1186 (1000 MT) 6.75 %
2011 1175 (1000 MT) -0.93 %
2012 1161 (1000 MT) -1.19 %

 

Drawing from the table above, it is clear that the rice production volume has been on an unsteady trend. Nonetheless, rice production still remains an important sector within Taiwan and is still the leading food crop product for both domestic and international use.

Research shows that agriculture is not a lucrative venture in Taiwan for people seeking business opportunities. However, floriculture crop industry is a sector that speaks volumes of the means businesspersons in Taiwan can make huge profits from agriculture. Floriculture, which involves the propagation of ornamental plants such as orchids, is paving ways for businesses oriented persons to make money. The leading flowers that constitute Taiwan’s major products are orchids, foliage plants, and anthurium. This is atop other key flowers that the country specializes in their growth and exportation. The major target countries for Taiwan include Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United States. Taiwan, having such a vast market target for their floriculture crops, is a vivid indication that they are successful in maintaining this business venture. In addition, increasing the area of the floriculture crops is also an indicator of success in the industry. In 1978, for example, the area dedicated to planting floriculture crops was about 1200 hectares. Surprisingly, by 2006 this land area had widely increased with an area covering over 13000 hectares.

The value of floriculture crops in Taiwan has also been on a rising trend. Growing the products within high tech greenhouses other than open fields is a factor that has contributed extensively to the increase of the crop’s value. Moreover, entrepreneurs have aggressively involved themselves with the floriculture business with many exploiting the highly productive areas of Taiwan. During the development of the floriculture business, research has made immense contributions towards improving the aspects of the venture. Taiwan has been ranked as the number one exporter of phalaenopsis. The reason behind this is its capability to deliver these flowers whilst they are still in their growth medium. This is a major contribution research has provided to the floriculture business in Taiwan, making it a lead exporter in such products to major countries such as the United States. Such impressive techniques have earned the country high value products, for instance, having phalaenopsis sell as high as $151000 in a hectare within one year.

Taiwan discovered the potential behind the floriculture business, and put up measures to ensure their success in the venture remains intact. The Floriculture Research Center, for example, is an establishment that the country put up to support its floriculture crops’ production. In addition, the center deals with problems farmers may face during planting, growth and harvesting of floriculture crops. The center is also keen at developing new cultivars of floral products such as orchids to increase their value and volumes. The center also explores the potential of developing new hybrids that have the capability of doing well within other countries such as in Japan. The center, for example, has developed flowers that have attractive values that help in increasing the prices of such products. In turn, all these add value to the exports from Taiwan’s floriculture business.

Import volume, and value of fruits

The key fruit imports that Taiwan specializes in are apples that they get from United States and other countries such as Chile. Taiwan’s fruit importation has been fueled by various factors. One of the leading reasons behind Taiwan’s huge importation of apples in the country is unfavorable environmental conditions to support their growth. The import volume of apples in Taiwan is over 140000 MT per year valued at over US$163 million. Taiwan’s geographical position is also a key factor that contributes to its massive importation of apples. Its location on the globe exposes the country to natural disasters such as tropical storms, which are unsuitable conditions for growth and sustainability of apples. The country also possess an extremely high level of apple consumption; thus, making the demand overwhelming for the supply to meet. Subsequently, the country ends up making huge importations to satisfy the high consumption of apples. Taiwan has posed as a ready market for fresh apples and countries such as Chile have become their regular suppliers. Other than apples, oranges form another fruit crop that is of high value within Taiwan. In Taiwan, these two fruits, apples and oranges, are highly consumed among the citizens. However, the country does not import humongous amounts of oranges since 95% of the total products are homegrown.

Import volume, and value of vegetable crops

Taiwan has a greater amount of agricultural imports than its exports. One of the major contributors of increased imports in vegetables is the low production within the country. China is a major exporter to Taiwan in vegetable supplies. China supplies Taiwan abundantly with peas, tomatoes and, cauliflower. Over the last ten years, the supply of these products in Taiwan has heightened, but at the same time, their production within Taiwan’s nation has decreased. The consumption rate of these products is quite high within Taiwan, and there is a dire need to meet the demand. String beans are also highly valued in Taiwan and China has been on the forefront to ensure their supply remains intact. Taiwan imports over 5000 tons of string beans per year from China. Other than cereals, Taiwan is an active importer of tea, which is also from China. Although Taiwan is an active grower of tea, it also imports the same product from China crossing over the 5000 tons mark per annum.

Export volume, and value of floriculture crops

Taiwan’s climate is the major reason behind its great success in establishing a great market in floriculture crops. The climate allows a vast spectrum of flowers to grow in the country. In turn, this has allowed the government to use this to their advantage by exploring this opportunity. Over the years, research has tremendously increased the volume of flowers exported out of Taiwan with special concentration on orchids. The orchids, as mentioned earlier, are the major export products that Taiwan delivers to various countries such as Japan. Taiwan takes over 81% of the total world’s floral exports with orchids taking the lead. Projected value of the floral supply within the end of 2014 is about US$ 237million. This depicts that the floral venture is something that Taiwan highly upholds and depends upon for the sustainability of the country’s economy.

Export volume, and value of vegetable crops

Vegetable exports within Taiwan are an integral part of the income earners within the country. In 2009, it was recorded that 149000 hectares of farmland were used for the plantation, growth, and harvest of vegetable crops within the island. In addition, the country could produce a total of 2.9 million tons worth of vegetable exports from the vast pieces of farmland. Taiwan participates actively in the export business of various vegetable crops such as green soybeans. Green soybeans prove to contain more nutrients than peas. Lujing and Luxiang are two of the major categories of soybeans involved in the exportation venture. Head lettuces are also part of the vegetable crop export from Taiwan. The lettuces are exported under strict regulations to preserve their hygiene and nutrients. Such rules include correct application of pesticides to avoid spoilage of the head lettuces. Carrots also form a major part of Taiwan’s vegetable crop exports, and is performed under strict government supervision to ensure that the procedures aimed at observing hygiene are followed. Though a seasonal crop, from December to April, carrots still constitute a paramount section of Taiwan’s vegetable exports. Mushrooms are also important plant products exported from Taiwan to several destinations in the world. Taiwan’s button mushroom is a leading export product that the country vigorously supplies both at the local and international levels. However, it is in addition to other mushroom varieties. Just like in the floral business venture, Taiwan also involves itself in heightened research methods to improve on the quality of the mushroom produces. In addition, the country has involved .............


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