QUEENSLAND authorities are hailing “a significant step” on the long road to exporting Queensland-grown varieties of Taiwanese lychees to Asia.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said celebrations had marked the planting of six new purpose grown Taiwanese varieties at Groves Grown Tropical Fruit Farm, Yeppoon (near Rockhampton).
“Today’s celebration represents both a significant physical and symbolic milestone in the horticulture research relationship between Queensland and Taiwan which stretches back more than a quarter of a century,” Mrs Lauga said.
“The Queensland government is keen to develop this export opportunity and I thank Taiwan and their Council of Agriculture deputy minister Dr JJ Chen for making the new varieties available to Queensland farmers for testing.
“These new Taiwanese varieties of lychees is an exciting development that hopefully results in opening the door for Queensland producers to increased export market share as well as supplying the Australian domestic market.”
Agriculture minister Mark Furner said exporting lychees to Asia was a long-term effort.
“In 2016, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taiwan Council of Agriculture to introduce six new varieties of lychees from Taiwan into Queensland,” Mr Furner said.
“It is expected the trees will take approximately three years to grow before DAF can begin to evaluate which varieties are best to grow and are commercially viable and then take eight to ten years before significant volumes can be grown in Queensland.”
Mr Furner said if the lychees did well in Queensland conditions, Australian growers and Taiwan could then consider a joint project to export to other Asian countries.
Mr Furner is meeting with Dr JJ Chen, Deputy Minister of Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, this week to discuss opportunities for expanding trade between Queensland and Taiwan.
“In 2018-19, Queensland’s agri-food exports to Taiwan totalled over $252m making Taiwan Queensland’s ninth largest agri-food export market,” he said. “Queensland already exports beef, seafood, wood products, nuts, beans, grain sorghum, soybeans and mandarins to Taiwan and adding lychees to that portfolio is an exciting prospect.”