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Taiwan vegetable, fruit prices rise 30% due to unstable weather

High heat, torrential rains, insect pests lead to poor harvest

Farmers struggle with difficult growing conditions. (CNA photo)

Farmers struggle with difficult growing conditions. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Sunshine and high temperatures followed by heavy rain have led to a poor harvest hampered by insect pests, leading some farmers to let their fields go fallow.

As a result, the average price for leafy vegetables rose from NT$20 (US$0.65) per kilogram at the beginning of June to NT$27 (US$0.87), an increase of about 30%, per PTS. One dragon fruit orchard in Huwei, Yunlin suffered greatly, with many fruits showing poor skin.

With no way to sell this fruit through traditional channels, it has invited the public to pick their own fruit at half the price. One farmer in Yunlin said, "We have experienced lots of pests and diseases. You can't spray pesticides on rainy days. And it also won't work if it rains after you finish spraying."

In addition, a dragon fruit orchard in Huwei has been adversely affected by rainy weather, which has damaged the fruit's exterior but not its flavor. The farmer also opened this orchard to the public to self-pick fruit for half the price.

"Every day, 2,300 people come to pick fruit. They all bring their children as they look forward to this experience and also want to buy cheap fruit," said orchard owner Hsu Fuyi (許富義). However, picking dragon fruit is not easy, as it has to be cut from a cactus that has many prickly thorns.