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Taiwan Panorama / Editor’s Picks / Article:Paradise Lost—Tough Times for Taiwan Agribusiness in Hainan
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Editor’s Picks
 
 
2012/8/p.016
Paradise Lost—Tough Times for Taiwan Agribusiness in Hainan
Sam Ju/photos by Jimmy Lin/tr. by Jonathan Barnard
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Photo explanation: Mangos, pineapples, bananas, papayas­—the range of tropical fruits in Hainan is just as rich and varied as in Taiwan. The photo shows fruit stands in Sanya’s First Market. (Jimmy Lin)
Mangos, pineapples, bananas, papayas­—the range of tropical fruits in Hainan is just as rich and varied as in Taiwan. The photo shows fruit stands in Sanya’s First Market. (Jimmy Lin)

Land is the mother of agriculture. Twenty-some years ago, Taiwan agribusinesses brought money, plant species and techniques to the PRC’s Hai­nan Island, leased large tracts of land and began to harvest high-quality fruits: mangos, rose apples, longans, bananas, papayas, and so forth. Those farmers have already made quite a name for themselves. But with the local government taking back leased land, what should these Taiwanese farmers do?

Were they in Taiwan, these investors in Hai­nan agriculture would be known as agribusiness “magnates” or “experts,” but in Hai­nan they keep a low profile, only occasionally appearing in newspaper reports about land disputes. Most of the time, they can be found quietly working away on farms that aren’t as big as they used to be, preparing land, weeding, grafting trees and picking fruit with their hired local hands. They pass their time at these activities, day after day, year after year.

 
 
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