Planting cross-Straits seeds of success

Born into a family of fruit growers, 60–year-old Chung Te-chuan from Longyan became the first farmer in Taiwan to grow durian, eventually deciding to invest in agriculture.

Hu Meidong and Zhou Huiying

Hu Meidong and Zhou Huiying

China Daily


Chung Te-chuan eats cabbage in his greenhouse. [PHOTO BY ZHENG QIUSHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

June 7, 2022

BEIJING – Entrepreneur wins acclaim with new organic varieties of premium quality fruits and vegetables in Fujian

One morning in early May, Chung Te-chuan arrived at his greenhouse in Longyan, Fujian province, picked a cabbage, put a chunk in his mouth and chewed with relish.

“The vegetables and fruits I grow here are different from the others planted by local farmers. Mine are organic, so the raw vegetables can be eaten directly,” he told local media.

Not only that, he added, but they taste better than the ones grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. All his premium vegetables were grown from new varieties of seeds brought in from Taiwan.

Chung, 60, a businessman from the island, now lives a farmer’s life in Wuxing village in Longmen township. He said he is happy to see his high-quality products selling well in markets on the Chinese mainland.

“Last year, my daughter helped me promote my ecological fruits and vegetables in Shanghai, and she achieved good results,” he said.

After more than 10 years of development, his premium agricultural products have earned a stellar reputation. They’re recognized and beloved by mainland consumers, and sales are growing steadily, he said.

Chung Te-chuan checks on the growth of his vegetables. [PHOTO BY ZHENG QIUSHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

His annual fruit output generates more than 1.5 million yuan ($234,375), plus vegetables worth another 500,000 yuan. About one-third of his vegetables and fruits are sold abroad through foreign trade companies from Beijing and Shanghai.

In addition to his organic greenhouse, Chung and his wife, New Huei-ming, run a store in Longyan’s downtown area, selling high-end vegetables and fruits and promoting their concepts for good health.

They also offer customers Taiwan cuisine to convey the idea that compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are part of the same big family. New said Longyan residents are friendly and warmhearted.

“We have made many local like-minded friends who love organic food and health over the years,” she said. “That is our biggest gain.”

She followed her husband to Longyan a decade after he arrived in 2008. “We have a happy life,” she said.

Chung said development opportunities on the mainland are much better than those in Taiwan, and the development of fine agriculture has great potential.

Born into a family of fruit growers in Taiwan’s Pingtung county, Chung started planting and growing fruit at home since he was a child. He was the first farmer in Taiwan to grow durian, the fruit with the prickly husk and soft inner meat.

In his early days on the mainland, Chung ran a freight company in Dongguan, Guangdong province, and was attracted by the natural scenery and ecology. After careful consideration, he decided to invest in agriculture and grow varieties of vegetables and fruits from Taiwan in Longyan, which share Chinese culture, customs and language.

Chung Te-chuan prunes his tomatoes. [PHOTO BY ZHENG QIUSHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Chung rented more than 20,000 square meters of mountain land in a village and built greenhouses in which to grow organic vegetables and fruit using technology from Taiwan.

He said he was supported by the city’s office of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao affairs as he established his high-end garden. The local Party committee and government helped solve many problems, he said.

Chung said his greenhouse was completed as scheduled thanks to the local government that helped him overcome the problems of water and electricity supplies. The structure was built in a rural mountain area where those services were not available at the time.

In addition, the local government introduced a series of preferential policies this year to help investors start businesses in the city.

As his enterprise developed rapidly, Chung turned to helping poor households in the area to escape poverty. He distributed cultivated seedlings to them for planting, and then helped them sell the mature products.

“Last year, I supported and aided more than a dozen poverty-stricken households, and each one earned an additional annual income from 5,000 to 8,000 yuan,” he said.

After more than a decade of development on the mainland, Chung and his wife have settled down in Longyan, where they remain confident about the future.

Chung said he hoped to be able to establish a seedling base for agricultural products from Taiwan and attract more young people from the mainland to help run and expand his organic vegetable and fruit business in the years ahead.

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