Taipei, March 3 (CNA) Taiwan's Council of Agriculture (COA) said Wednesday it had reached an agreement to export 6,000 kilograms of pineapples to Australia in May.
The council's Department of International Affairs made the announcement after Deputy Agriculture Minister Chen Junne-jih and his Australian counterpart, David Hazlehurst, held a virtual meeting earlier in the day to discuss agricultural cooperation.
According to the COA, Taiwan sent a small trial shipment of decrowned pineapples to Australia in March 2020, after Canberra approved imports of the fruit.
During the meeting on Wednesday, the two sides finalized plans to ship 6,000 kg of Taiwanese pineapples by sea to Australia in May, as well as a smaller quantity by air, the COA said.
Lin Chia-jung, director of the International Affairs Department, said Wednesday's talks took place under a 2001 cooperation memorandum between the two countries, under which the COA also helped to cultivate Taiwanese lychees in Australia.
The agreement with Australia came one week after China decided to halt imports of Taiwanese pineapples, saying various types of mealy bugs had been found in several shipments last year.
The decision was seen by many in Taiwan as politically motivated and has led to calls by President Tsai Ing-wen and others for local buyers to support the country's pineapple farmers.