Records are made to be broken and farmers in the Republic of China's island province of Formosa are registering a new one this year...
Hi shot banana plantation
Cutting bananas from tree
Buyers inspect fruit
Bananas on conveyor belt
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Background: Records are made to be broken and farmers in the Republic of China's island province of Formosa are registering a new one this year...they are about to become the world's largest exporter of bananas.
To city folks bananas may be just another fruit on the breakfast cereal.But to farmers and foreign exchange people, Formosa's achievement is truly impressive.
Formosa -- or Taiwan, as the Asians call it -- covers less than 14,000 square miles and bananas are its second biggest money maker in farm produce.Sugar comes first...and the island is the world's second largest sugar exporter.
Despite damage from late-summer tropical storms known as typhoons, the free Chinese have managed to increase their banana production every year.During 1965 they expect to export 7 1/2 million baskets -- each holding 100 pounds.The crop will be worth 60 million dollars -- double last year's income.Six short years ago Formosa exported just one-tenth of this year's total.Ample rain and semi-tropical sun nurture the crop.However, modern scientific farming methods -- like the techniques that give Formosa's farmers 2 and 3 rice crops each year -- are really responsible for the success.
Spoilage is the big problem with the perishable fruit and this conveyor belt takes it through a disinfecting bath that will help insure peak flavor.Free China's big market for bananas is still in the Orient, notably Japan.But last fall she started competing with the Central and South American growers who now dominate the U.S.market.
New cold storage facilities at the expanding port of Kaohsiung (gow-shong) are located right at dock-side -- cutting costs and reducing damage.The ships that haul the fruit are truly banana boats -- specially built to provide the ventilation this fruit requires on the trip to distant markets.
While the Nationalist Chinese are happy over becoming the world's largest exporter of bananas, they are equally proud of the fact that they export more canned pineapple than Hawaii...