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Taiwan strawberry prices soar as cold weather cuts output by 30%

Dahu Township farmers blame climate, pests, and disease for low yields

Strawberry harvest affected by cold wave. (CNA photo)

Strawberry harvest affected by cold wave. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — It's harvesting season for strawberries but yields are expected to decline by 30% due to seasonal factors such as cold temperatures in mid-January.

According to the latest price quotations from the Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation, the average wholesale price for top-quality strawberries is NT$409 (US$13) per kilogram. This has led consumers to pay between NT$500 and NT$600 in local markets, per UDN.

“Miaoli County’s Dahu Township is the main strawberry production area in Taiwan, accounting for 80% of domestic output,” said Agriculture and Food Agency Deputy Director General Su Mao-Hsiang (蘇茂祥). Dahu has around 500 hectares of strawberry fields.

Su said the recent cold weather affected Dahu’s strawberry output. However, cold was not the only factor behind low strawberry yields.

Many Dahu strawberry farmers planted their crops earlier than usual this year due to the El Nino effect (2023–2024), which typically involves warmer winters. However, annual planting fared poorly and required lots of fertilizer, making the crop susceptible to pest infestation and disease.

To assist strawberry farmers in the future, Su promised to provide more guidance, including the use of elevated cultivation beds and other practices such as the use of greenhouses to avoid pests and diseases. Improved cultivation methods could help farmers, he said.

Su added strawberries were not the only fruit to increase in price this year. Generally speaking, Su said most fruits cost more than the previous year, due to events such as Typhoon Koinu in October plus inflation.