Tropical crops successfully cultivated in southern South Korea

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 11, 2017 - 17:04
  • Updated : Nov 11, 2017 - 17:04

Geoje Island, a southern South Korean island, is emerging as a new source of tropical fruits and vegetables due mainly to global warming and climate change, regional officials said Saturday.

The Geoje Agricultural Technology and Extension Center said it has recently succeeded in the test cultivation of geuk, a tropical fruit, and chyote, a tropical vegetable, in its open-air farm in Geoje Island, about 450 km southeast of Seoul.

Geuk and chyote have been known to grow in a subtropical climate.

(Photo provided by Geoje-si)

The state-run agricultural center noted that the two tropical crops were successfully grown outdoors, instead of inside a greenhouse.

Farmers in Geoje Island have already been growing pineapples and aloe due to its mild climate.

"Geuk and chyote seeds can be sown in the spring for autumn harvest in Geoje Island. Wintering is not necessary. It has been proven that they can be grown outdoors here," said An Jong-hyun, a researcher at the Geoje agricultural center.

Geuk, mainly grown in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, bears red fruit the size of a melon.

Chyote originated in Latin America and tastes like radish or cucumber.

"Local farmers in search of new profitable crops can consider growing geuk or chyote, because they can be raised outdoors," said An.

Last year, the center also succeeded in a test cultivation of passion fruit, which also originated in Latin America. It will soon transfer its cultivation techniques of those tropical crops to local farmers.

"As the temperature goes up on the Korean Peninsula due to climate change, we'll be able to grow a larger variety of tropical fruits and vegetables on Geoje Island," An predicted. (Yonhap)