Pomegranate industry benefits Yicheng people

(chinadaily.com.cn )| Updated : 2018-12-27

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Pomegranates have enriched the people of Yicheng district, Shandong's Zaozhuang city. The fruit has lead to prosperity in all industries and the district now leads the domestic pomegranate industry.

In recent years, the planting area of pomegranates in Yicheng district has increased from a few thousand mu to more than 210,000 mu (14,000 hectares). The output of fresh pomegranates has increased from several hundred thousand kilograms to more than 100 million kilograms. 

The sales mode has changed from a single producer mode to an industrial chain, and developed into a pomegranate cultural industry. 

The total industrial output value has expanded from less than 100,000 yuan ($14,519) to several billion yuan. The pomegranate industry provides employment opportunities for more than 20,000 people. 

Yicheng district is renowned as the "hometown of pomegranates in China". It has the largest area of continuous planting, the largest variety and the most complete industrial chain in China. 

It is also China's largest distributing center for fresh pomegranate, pomegranate seedlings and pomegranate bonsai and pots. 

With annual sales of 80 million kilograms of pomegranates, local farmers' incomes have increased by more than 300 million yuan. 

The Yicheng Pomegranate Garden is 35 kilometers long from east to west and 3 kilometers wide from north to south, covering an area of 200,000 mu. 

The garden is well-known at home and abroad for its long history, large area, numerous plants, complete color and excellent fruit quality. In 2001, it was named the "largest pomegranate garden in the world" by Shanghai Great World Guinness. 

In April 2016, the new pomegranate variety "Qiu Yan" obtained seed certification from the State Forestry Administration, the first and the only national-level seed of its kind in the country. 

"Qiu Yan" has been planted over 18,000 mu and developed into the most influential and competitive of Zaozhuang's pomegranate varieties.

In order to strengthen the industry, Yicheng district has successively issued various policies to support the deep processing of pomegranates. The industry continues to innovate and upgrade.

Pomegranates are processed into more than 20 varieties of products such as fruit juice, wine, tea, health care products and cosmetics, with an annual output value of more than 2 billion yuan.

The industry has formed 15 leading enterprises for pomegranate deep processing. Through joint efforts with scientific research institutions and universities, it has accelerated brand cultivation of pomegranate products and formed an annual processing of 500 tons of pomegranate juice, 50 tons of thyme tea, 200 tons of pomegranate honey and 20,000 tons of pomegranate drinks.

After more than 30 years of development, the district's pomegranate bonsai and potting industry has transformed from sporadic production to commercialization and from a low level to the highest level. 

Meanwhile, a large number of bonsai artists represented by Xiao yuankui, Zhang Xiaojun and Zhang Zhongtao have developed a certain popularity in the domestic bonsai industry. 

At present, Yicheng is the largest and highest level producer and distribution center of pomegranate bonsai in China. 

The annual output of pomegranate bonsai and potted plants is about 50,000 pots. The total number of bonsai and potted plants exceeds 300,000 pots, including 10,000 pots of fine bonsai. 

More than 3,000 people are engaged in the pomegranate bonsai industry. Annual sales amount to nearly 150 million yuan.


Villagers prune pomegranate bonsai at a cultivation center in Yicheng district of Zaozhuang, Shandong province on Dec 13. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]


A worker corks the bottles of pomegranate wine at a plant in Yicheng district of Zaozhuang, Shandong province on Dec 13. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]


A customer selects pomegranate wine products at a plant in Yicheng district of Zaozhuang, Shandong province on Dec 13. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]