Ogimi drowning in glut of Shiquasa

Shiquasa, a locally grown Okinawan citrus fruit, had such a bumper crop this year in Ogimi Village that growers don’t know what to do with all of their crop.

The record harvest has caused the price to plummet, and many growers say the price is so low that it’s not worth their time and effort to collect the fruit and transport it for sale this year. Instead, they are considering dumping most of the crop into landfills. The second problem is there are not enough refrigerators to store the juice.

This season, the volume of harvest is estimated at 2,500~3,000 tons.  With the farmers’ plight in mind, people who have offered to buy Shiquasa, and lend refrigerated storage, are showing up.  They are coming to buy some citrus directly from farms, and also are contacting the Ogimi Village Office. Staff there report that they are receiving phone calls one after another offering information about vacant refrigerators. There are also people who negotiate with farmers in person, and enjoy picking the crop themselves.

A farmer in Ogimi says, “We appreciate very much all the help.  Especially, it is a problem to collect everything from the orchards.”

Ogimi Village officials intend to make extra promotion efforts on Shiquasa in order to change the pinch situation they find themselves in even a little.  At 3 p.m. before the opening ceremony of the Tour de Okinawa bicycle race on Saturday, they are plan to give away free Shiquasa at the 21st Century Forest Park in Miyazato, Nago City.   For following Tuesday, Nov. 11, a special event featuring Shiquasa is planned for Road Station ‘Michi no Eki Ogimi’ for its 15th anniversary.