This is Huang Guo Tsun, 42, a cherry tomato farmer in Neimen district in Kaohsiung City. Last Sept. 10, he planted 1,760 cherry tomato seedlings on a 2,500-square meter property which he rented for NT$10,000 a month. Starting 90 days after planting, he has been harvesting his ripe fruits every day. Five pickers harvest anywhere between 60 to 180 kilos daily.
That’s big money. Sixty kilos at present sell for NT$7,000 which is about P11,000 in Philippine money. If they harvest 180 kilos, that’s the equivalent of P33,000. That’s for one day!
Of course, labor in Taiwan is expensive. The pickers are paid NT$800 a day or P1,257 in Philippine money. Still, the margin is substantial. Huang could harvest for at least 60 days. If the crop season is good, harvesting could last for as long as six months, according to him.
Huang plants the Nova and Amber varieties which are about the sweetest of the Known-You hybrids. Huang has been planting cherry tomatoes for the last eight years now. Before that, he planted cucumber, morning glory(kangkong) and other leafy vegetables. He says cherry tomatoes are the most profitable as far as he is concerned.
What’s good is that technicians of Known-You are very helpful in making him succeed. He has been taught how to maintain the sweetness of his cherry tomatoes. When he feels that the fruits are not sweet enough, he applies more phosphorus and potassium. He also withholds irrigation for a few days to make the fruits sweeter.