Taipei--Taiwan is expected to see good harvests of mangoes, and especially the popular Irwin mango, this year after a down year in 2016, the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) said Friday.
Although heavy downpours caused some agricultural losses around Taiwan last week, they did not hurt the main mango-growing area of Tainan, said Fang Yi-tan (???), chief of the crop production division at AFA.
"This year, the supply of mangoes to the market should be normal," Fang said, unlike last year when mango output was nearly 50 percent lower than usual due to an extreme cold front that hit early in the year, when mango plants were flowering and being pollinated.
It was the worst year in history in terms of mango output, Fang recalled, saying the cold snap damage badly hurt the market.
"No mangoes were available even if you wanted to buy them, regardless of the price," she said.
Those problems will not be repeated this year, Fang said. The first harvest of Irwin mangoes has already hit the local market, with the fruit going for about NT$99 (US$3.3) per 600 grams (or per "jin," the main unit of weight for produce in Taiwan).
Prices could drop to NT$70 or NT$80 per jin when the harvest reaches its peak, Fang said.
Irwin mangoes will be on the market until the end of July, after which other varieties like the Keitt and Chin-Huang will take over, according to Fang.
Huang Cheng-chin (???), chief executive of the Yujing District Farmers' Association of Tainan, expected mango exports to also recover this year.
As for the local market, the farm price for mangoes expected to be harvested on June 19 will be set at NT$400 or NT$500 per jin, half of the price seen in 2016, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel