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Low temperatures wreck wax apple harvest in South Taiwan

Farmers unlikely to qualify for insurance payments

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Premier Su Tseng-chang (second from left) inspects damaged wax apples in Pingtung (CNA, Executive Yuan photo) 

Premier Su Tseng-chang (second from left) inspects damaged wax apples in Pingtung (CNA, Executive Yuan photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — This year’s wax apple harvest in Pingtung County is turning into a disaster due to recent low temperatures, reports said Tuesday (Jan. 12).

While residents of north Taiwan raced into the mountains for a rare opportunity to admire snowfall, further south the spell of cold weather inflicted considerable damage on agricultural produce, UDN reported.

The Pingtung County township of Linbian, famous for its wax apples and known as “the home of the black pearl,” accounted for almost half of the NT$70 million (US$2.49 million) of damage recorded by the region’s wax apple sector.

Total damage was expected to surge to more than NT$100 million, as more fruit was expected to fall out of the trees, making them unsuitable for consumption. At the origin of the problem was the rapid change in temperature, with first the cold and then a spot of sunlight causing the fruit to split and fall off the trees.

More than 2000 hectares in the sunny southern county are taken up by wax apple trees, with Linbian accounting for 151 hectares, or almost half the surface where damages have been reported to the authorities, according to UDN.

An added element is that the frost insurance that many farmers took out will not count in this case because the temperatures did not reach the minimum described in the compensation requirements.


Updated : 2021-01-21 11:12 GMT+08:00