In order to develop markets for seeds and seedlings in New Southbound Policy partner countries, the Council of Agriculture (COA), working with the World Vegetable Center and the Taiwan Seed Trade Association, has been promoting an overseas trial cultivation plan for vegetable varieties. Two years of market surveys and promotional demonstrations in Thailand have indicated that many Taiwan vegetable varieties have competitive advantage in the Thai market. On February 21, these three organizations arranged the Field Demonstration of Taiwanese Vegetable Cultivars at the Thailand regional office of the World Vegetable Center. The Thai Seed Trade Association and related businesses were invited to the event to observe and explore. It is hoped that Taiwan’s capacities in seedling research and development can be brought together with Thai sales channels to jointly seek market opportunities for seedling businesses from both Thailand and Taiwan, thereby creating a win-win situation for these industries in the two countries as well as establishing a new model for transnational cooperation.
Promoting vegetable varieties from Taiwan
The COA states that vegetable seed businesses in Taiwan have been working for a long time on research into hybrid varieties. New varieties of tropical vegetables such as tomatoes, cauliflower, chili peppers, and pumpkins are of quality, yield, and uniformity, and are especially suited to cultivation in New Southbound Policy partner countries. Moreover, in recent years various New Southbound Policy partner countries have enjoyed continuous economic growth, creating increasing demand for high quality vegetable varieties, and thus making them emerging seed and seedling markets that Taiwan cannot afford to ignore. In order to assist Taiwanese seed and seedling businesses to develop overseas markets, the COA, the World Vegetable Center, and the Taiwan Seed Trade Association have worked together to select varieties that are suited to the tastes of Thai consumers and have high market acceptance. They have further assisted eight Taiwanese seed and seedling companies to directly undertake trial cultivation in Thailand. Moreover, today they invited members of the Thai Seed Trade Association and other local related businesses to undertake field observation and exploration at the site of this trial cultivation.
Cooperation replaces competition
The Field Demonstration of Taiwanese Vegetable Cultivars from Taiwan came off smoothly, thanks to assistance from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand. 30 varieties of tomatoes, 27 varieties of cauliflower, 18 varieties of chili peppers, and nine varieties of pumpkins were on display, and samples of tomatoes, pumpkins, and chili peppers were provided for tasting. Businesses in attendance included well-known local seed companies and members of the Thai Seed Trade Association including East-West Seed and Chia Tai Seed, with about 140 persons attending the exhibition. A collective catalogue printed up by the eight seed and seedling companies from Taiwan was distributed at the event, presenting the companies and the special features of their vegetable varieties, along with relevant photographs. In addition, staff from the Thailand regional office of the World Vegetable Center introduced the cultivation process for each type of vegetable, after which was conducted field observation and exploration, tasting, and testing of sweetness. After seeing the field performance and disease resistance advantages of varieties from Taiwan, as well as tasting the flavor of these vegetables on the spot, Thai seed and seedling businesses all had high praise for the quality of Taiwan vegetables, and businesses from the two sides engaged in lively discussions.
Source: Council of Agriculture Taiwan