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Kiwi fruit plays role in rural vitalization in Xiuwen county

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2018-03-09

Guizhou province's Xiuwen county has chosen to replace grains and crops with kiwi fruit in a bid to improve the local agriculture industry.

The kiwi fruit, also known as the Chinese gooseberry, has a 30-year history in the county and enjoys brand recognition thanks to the area's agricultural advancements and use of modern ecological practices.

But things were not always this way, said Huang Tingxiang, a kiwi fruit grower. He grew kiwi fruit 10 years ago but never made a profit due to a lack of investment and proper management.

In 2012, businessman Zhou Zhenpin returned to his hometown, Xiuwen, and entered into a contract with local farmers allowing them to plant kiwi fruit on 1,000-mu (66.67-hectares) of land.

He established a planting cooperative to include more rural households and introduced different forms of planting, e-commerce and marketing strategies. This led to many being lifted out of poverty.

The cooperative also signed agreements with local marketing companies to help sell the fruit, a huge relief to farmers lacking expertise in this area.

Huang is among many who joined the planting cooperative, a decision he does not regret. "The kiwi fruit yields 1,000 kilograms for each mu," said Huang, allowing for much greater profits than corn planting. As a result, he decided to grow 10 mu more of the fruit in 2016.

Today, Xiuwen county has more than 6,000 rural households in the kiwi business with more than 170,000 mu of the fruit currently being grown, contributing a high of two billion yuan ($315.5 million) to the county's total income.

Last year, Xiuwen kiwi fruit was exported to Hong Kong, Taiwan and other foreign countries such as Malaysia. The county has hopes of expanding its planting area to 200,000 mu and reaching 10 billion yuan in profits by 2020.

Kiwi fruit plays role in rural vitalization in Xiuwen county
Kiwi fruit await harvest season in Xiuwen county. [Photo/gog.cn]

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