Wakayama growers prepare to export new strawberry Marihime

Wakayama prefecture developed a new strawberry breed, and named it “Marihime.”

Wakayama prefecture developed a new strawberry breed, and named it “Marihime.”

WAKAYAMA, May. 9 — Strawberry growers in central Japan are readying the first commercial exports of their new strawberry “Marihime” to Asian neighbors.

Wakayama prefecture’s agricultural research center developed the new strawberry breed and registered it in 2010.

“This strawberry taste sweet and a little sour,” an official from the local government explained. In Tokyo, it was sold at 12,960 yen per box at fruit shops. “We hope we can sell it overseas as well,” the official said.

Fruit is generally expensive in Japan, and people often buy melons, grapes and strawberries as a gift for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and parties.

Japan exported 890 tons of strawberries, valued at 1.8 billion yen in 2017, according to the agriculture ministry. The top destinations were Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Now the Wakayama strawberry growers plan to export their new strawberries to Asian countries next year during the Chinese New Year.

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