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First batch of Taiwan guavas shipped to US hailed as milestone

Taiwan the only Asian country to break into US guava market

Taiwan guavas. (Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extention Station photo)

Taiwan guavas. (Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extention Station photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has become the only Asian country allowed to export guavas to the U.S., with the first batch of the tropical fruit being shipped out on Friday (Dec. 27).

The batch contains 18,000 kilograms of guavas, according to Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲), who attended a ceremony marking the milestone shipment at an export packaging facility in the southern Taiwan municipality, reported UDN. Taiwan’s agriculture authorities had expressed hope that the first consignment could be delivered to the U.S. by the end of the year after it received the green light in October.

Currently, most guavas available in the U.S. are imported from Mexico, whose guavas Huang said are "no rival to the ones cultivated in Taiwan.” Guavas grown in Taiwan are celebrated for their sweetness, crunchiness, and high nutritional value and can be eaten raw or made into juice, the mayor said.

It has been a decade-long endeavor for Taiwan-produced guavas to break into the U.S. market due to concerns over the oriental fruit fly, an agricultural pest. With this success, Huang believes it will be easier to market the fruit elsewhere.

Tainan is home to approximately 1,460 hectares of guava farms, making it the second-largest guava growing area in Taiwan, and produces 32,000 tons of the fruit annually. Taiwan and the U.S. inked an agreement on Oct. 24 that laid the groundwork for the delivery of the fruit.