The inclusion of Taiwan-cultivated Dendrobium orchids in growing media on the USDA list of approved imports promises to create tremendous business opportunities for local exporters. (Courtesy of COA)

Taiwan-cultivated Dendrobium orchids potted in growing media can be exported to the American market commencing March 1 following the recent classification of the plants as safe by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA ruling makes Taiwan the first country in the world to enjoy this privilege and is welcomed by the government, the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture said Jan. 30, adding that it promises to create large-scale business opportunities for local exporters.

According to the COA, the decision to greenlight Dendrobium exports under a systems approach was made after careful analysis by scientists from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. It follows similar classifications of homegrown Phalaenopsis and Onicidium orchids in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

Taiwan-cultivated Dendrobium orchids are highly prized the world over for their diverse colors, shapes and sizes. The bulk of local production in the form of cut flowers is sent to Japan, a trend that may change as U.S. shipments of the plant come on line.

Since exports of Taiwan-cultivated Phalaenopsis orchids in growing media started 14 years ago, there has been a significant improvement in local growers’ cultivation techniques, greenhouse management practices and production efficiency. These accomplishments are highly recognized in the global market, the COA said.

The latest COA statistics reveal that exports of Taiwan-cultivated Phalaenopsis orchids potted in growing media to the U.S. totaled US$51.23 million in 2017, up 4.19 percent from the year before.

According to the COA, Taiwan’s Dendrobium growers are expected to experience similar success in the U.S. and further strengthen the country’s reputation as a premium supplier of the orchid. (SFC-E)
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