China virus outbreak affects Taiwan fruit farmer fortunes

Radio Taiwan Internatinal
Date: 31 January, 2020
By: Leslie Liao

Taitung fruit farmers are fearful of how the coronavirus outbreak might eat into their livelihood

The ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak in China is taking its toll on the global economy, and fruit farmers in Taiwan’s Taitung County are feeling the pinch, too.

It’s the first day of work after the extended Lunar New Year holiday. Fruit farmers in southeastern Taiwan’s Taitung County head out to the fields to collect custard apples that are as big as a baby’s head. Fruit farmer Lee Chung-wu says that this batch of custard apples is headed to Singapore.

Lee is lucky. Many of the county’s fruit farmers are unable to get their produce out to where it needs to go. That’s because China is shut down. As an outbreak of novel coronavirus spreads, China has extended its Lunar New Year holiday to February 2, and China’s customs agency is closed.

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