Can Cap Coast grow the good lychees?
YEPPOON-grown lychees may be added to the list of Queensland products being exported to Taiwan.
Queensland already exports beef, seafood, wood products, nuts, beans, sorghum, soybeans and mandarins to Taiwan.
Yesterday, six new purpose-grown Taiwanese varieties of the fruit were planted at Groves Grown Tropical Fruit Farm in Yeppoon.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said it was the result of a 20-year-long Queensland-Taiwan relationship.
“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,” she said.
Ms Lauga believed the lychees were another potential export opportunity for the region.
The new varieties available to Queensland farmers for testing were provided by Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Dr JJ Chen.
Ms Lauga described the importance of testing new varieties.
“These new Taiwanese varieties of lychees are 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.
“For example, one of the varieties, ‘Rose Red’, a large lychee with a slightly rose fragrance, has a better shelf life and is easier to peel giving it great appeal as an export variety.”
Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said exporting lychees to Asia was a long-term program of work after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taiwan Council of Agriculture in 2016.
Mr Furner said trees would take approximately three years to grow before DAF could begin to evaluate which varieties were best to grow and commercially viable.
It would then take eight to 10 years before significant volumes could be grown in Queensland, according to the Minister.
“If the lychees do well in Queensland conditions, Australian growers and Taiwan could then consider a joint project to export to other Asian countries,” he said.
“If new export markets can be established, it will ultimately translate into new employment opportunities in regional Queensland.”
Mr Furner is meeting with Dr Chen this week to discuss other trade opportunities between Queensland and Taiwan.
Mr Furner said developing lychee exports would add to Queensland’s already strong export profile with Taiwan.
Taiwan is Queensland’s ninth largest agri-food export market.