Wuzhou in S China’s Guangxi boosts rural vitalization with tea industry

(People's Daily Online) 14:27, February 16, 2023

By boosting the high-quality development of the Liubao tea industry, Wuzhou city in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has explored a new path to boosting rural vitalization and increasing farmers’ incomes.

Liubao tea, which originated in Wuzhou city, has achieved tremendous development in terms of its planting scale and commercialization. Today, there are 103 tea companies and about 210,000 mu (14,000 hectares) of tea gardens in Wuzhou, yielding an output value exceeding 16 billion yuan ($2.33 billion) annually. The disposable income per capita of Liubao tea farmers has reached 16,900 yuan ($2,465.71). As of 2022, Wuzhou exported nearly 5.2 million yuan worth of Liubao tea, of which 4.7 million yuan was exported to ASEAN countries.

Local farmers harvest Liubao tea, in Wuzhou, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (People’s Daily Online/Shen Quanchi)

Local authorities have issued beneficial policies for land, labor, production and sales, equity investment, and dividends to help farmers increase revenues.

To encourage farmers to engage in the local tea industry, Cangwu county in Wuzhou provides subsidies of over 2,500 yuan ($364.75) per mu (666.67 square meters) for new tea growers. In 2022, the county expanded its tea growing area by over 36,600 mu (2,440 hectares) and granted funding of over 36 million yuan ($5.25 million).

In 2022, tea experts made over 300 visits to local tea gardens in order to provide technical guidance, and also held eight training sessions on tea planting. 

Wuzhou city has trained a group of about 400 Liubao tea planting talents and 50 tea experts through a diverse range of tea activities and contests. In 2022, to boost exports of Liubao tea to ASEAN countries, the city specified new criteria for exporting tea, and optimized its export inspection modes.

A local Liubao tea inheritor fries tea. (People’s Daily Online/Wu Mingjiang)

The city has built up multiple business models, linking tea companies, collectives, and local farmers together. Today, Liubao tea is the most valuable of Guangxi’s tea brands, and was named as the Chinese tea brand with the best prospects in 2021.

Liubao tea is widely praised for its medical and nutritional attributes. In November 2022, the item "traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China" was added to the intangible cultural heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Liubao tea is a sub-section of this item, and became the first intangible cultural heritage of humanity from Wuzhou city.

The item "traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China" is added to the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list on Nov. 29, 2022. (Photo/People’s Daily Online)

In the past Spring Festival holiday, Liubao tea was one of the most popular choices for people buying gifts for their families. Tan Aiyun, a manager of a cooperative, said that the sales had increased from last year.

“We have sold more tea of various types, mostly medium grade tea with prices of between 600 ($87.54) and 1,000 ($145.90) yuan per kilogram. We will expand our tea garden to 1,000 mu (66.67 hectares), and encourage more companies and individuals to participate,” said Tan.

Wuzhou city plans to upgrade the industry with smart technologies. The city plans to build at least three digital tea gardens and two digital tea factories. It will also accelerate the construction of a digital platform for Liubao tea, and establish a sound traceability system for the tea to ensure product quality and safety.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Du Mingming)


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