Mandarin orange enters the market in Taizhou | Updated: 2023-09-15

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 Dafen, an early maturing variety of mandarin oranges. [Photo/]

Dafen, an early maturing variety of mandarin oranges, has recently made a splash in the market in Taizhou, East China's Zhejiang province.

Despite their predominantly green appearance with a hint of yellow, Dafen oranges have gained immense popularity among consumers. Zhang Hualong, chairman of Yongquan Yongxin Fruit Professional Cooperative in the county-level city of Linhai, has been in the mandarin orange business for over three decades and managed to kickstart the sale of Dafen oranges on Sept 4, 16 days earlier than last year.

The thicker skin and delicate citrus flavor, coupled with the abundance of pulp, contribute to the popularity of Dafen oranges. Zhang has already sold over 1,000 kilograms of the oranges and has been inundated with calls from loyal customers.

Ke Fuchun, head of Shuosheng Citrus Professional Cooperative in Sanmen county, has also experienced high demand for his early maturing mandarin oranges. Ke has cultivated over 100 mu (6.67 hectares) of orange trees, mainly the Gongchuan variety, as well as a small portion of Dafen and Yuliang varieties.

Having been available for sale for the past two weeks, Ke's Dafen oranges are now approaching the end of their season. This year's yield of Dafen mandarin oranges has been remarkably high, leading to stable prices. Wholesale prices range from 4.4 yuan (60 cents) to 5 yuan per kg, while higher quality oranges fetch up to 6 yuan per kg.

Taizhou has long been recognized as a significant hub for mandarin orange production. This year, the planting area for mandarin oranges in the city has expanded to 430,000 mu, with a projected total yield surpassing last year's record of 470,000 metric tons.