Goji berries used in traditional Chinese medicine gain international popularity

(Xinhua) 10:08, June 18, 2024

YINCHUAN, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Today, they have also gained popularity among consumers in countries and regions such as Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, Australia and the ASEAN.

The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, one of China's major goji berry-producing regions, exported 1,331.2 tonnes of goji berries in the first four months of 2024, an increase of 15.3 percent year on year, according to Yinchuan Customs in the regional capital.

Ningxia's goji berries have a good international reputation and have ranked first in export volume and value for years in China.

At Ningxia Wolfberry Goji Industry Co., Ltd., a leading goji berry producer in the region, about 800 boxes of dried goji berries totaling 14.5 tonnes were sorted and packaged on automatic production lines before being exported to the United States just this month.

With improved international trade, the company has been steadily resuming exports. Its export value skyrocketed 145.3 percent year on year to hit 58 million yuan (about 8.15 million U.S. dollars) in the first four months of the year, according to Wang Fei, its foreign trade manager.

"While ensuring the export volume of our primary processed product, dried goji berries, we are also increasing investment in science and technology to develop new products like goji berry juice, freeze-dried powder and compound beverages, meaning we are expanding our industrial chain and overseas markets," Wang said.

Goji berries are a Ningxia specialty known for their nutritional value, and they have gained attention for their health benefits, having properties that can help protect the liver, improve eyesight and conserve strength.

Diverse, high-quality goji berry products have also helped Ningxia expand its overseas markets. The region has built a national research institute and a national quality testing and inspection center for goji berry products, making breakthroughs in both quality improvement and deep processing.

Data shows that Ningxia has developed more than 120 new goji berry products, including medicines, food, drinks and cosmetics, which have been exported to more than 50 countries and regions around the world. It reported an annual industrial goji berry output of 29 billion yuan in 2023.

Burgeoning tourism is also improving the added value of Ningxia's goji berry industry, as tourists regularly purchase the red fruits as presents or souvenirs to bring home.

By the end of 2023, the goji berry planting area in Ningxia covered 325,000 mu (about 21,667 hectares), with an annual fresh goji berry output of 320,000 tonnes. According to a goji berry development plan of Ningxia, the region's annual industrial goji berry output is expected to reach 100 billion yuan by 2030. 

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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