Plum industry thickens farmers' pockets in Jiashi, NW China's Xinjiang

(People's Daily Online) 14:22, September 19, 2023

In autumn, the alluring melons and fruits in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are simply irresistible. With each bite of freshly picked plums, one is greeted by a delightful combination of sweetness and sourness with a lingering aftertaste, leaving an irresistible craving for more.

"The plums taste good and are rich in nutrients, especially high in anthocyanins, being highly popular among consumers. The demand for plums is high and the fruits are sold at home and abroad," said Adila Ekber, a staff member of the Yuejia Plum Industrial Park in Jiashi county, Xinjiang.

A farmer picks plums at an orchard in Jiashi county, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (People's Daily/Bai Yang)

"Jiashi takes pride in being the leading region in both plum cultivation area and production nationwide," said an official from Jiashi. The county boasts an impressive 450,000 mu (30,000 hectares) of plum plantations, with an estimated production of 230,000 tonnes this year alone. The thriving plum industry in Jiashi has significantly contributed to the local economy, with an average annual income increase of 5,650 yuan ($776) for residents in 2022.

The Yuejia Plum Industrial Park marks a remarkable endeavor funded and constructed by south China's Guangdong Province. With a total investment of 510 million yuan, the project commenced construction in April 2021 and was completed by August the same year, encompassing an expansive area of 243,000 square meters.

Today, the park has evolved into a national modern agricultural industrial park, serving as a backbone for national cold chain logistics operations and a prominent demonstration area for agricultural modernization at the national level.

Photo shows plums on a sorting machine. (People's Daily/Bai Yang)

Jiashi county has established a technology research institute for the plum industry and built a 300-mu plum germplasm resource base. It has 60 standardized plum demonstration gardens and modern fruit orchards, and established a cold storage and preservation system with a total capacity of over 150,000 tonnes.

Kurban Ghopur, a local villager in Jiashi, has recently been bestowed with the prestigious title of "Plum King" of Jiashi.

"I was among the pioneers who ventured into plum cultivation in the county. Initially, I only planted plums on a modest 4 mu of land. However, with support from the county and town, as well as invaluable guidance from technical experts, I gradually expanded my plum cultivation area to 22 mu," said the man, adding that this year, he can generate an income of 300,000 yuan from the business.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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