Online channels boost mulberry sales in Shandong

(| Updated : 2020-05-21

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Xiajin, a county in Dezhou, Shandong province, is renowned for its mulberry products.

The county is currently hosting its mulberry ecological culture festival through online channels to help the industry which has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival started on May 19 and will last for one month.


The mulberry fruit ripens in summer. [Photo/]

Due to the short shelf life of fresh mulberry, the fruit can only be transported across short distances.

In order to promote retail sales, the county invited more than 40 web celebrities to host livestreaming promotions among the mulberry trees as well as attract tourists to come pick the fruit.

Local farmers have also joined the live broadcasts to sell the fruit through livestreaming platforms and e-commerce sites.


Farmers harvest mulberries using a hook in Xiajin county. [Photo/]

"Normally, at this time of the year, buyers from all over the country have arrived. But this year, only a few vendors have turned up and the fruit prices have fallen by nearly half," said a local farmer.

"Retail sales of fresh mulberries during the festival is directly related to whether or not you can break even this year," said Yan Dengming, a local farmer who has planted nearly 200 mulberry trees.

The local government has also offered other ways to help improve the income of farmers.


Tourists pick mulberry fruit in Xiajin county in Dezhou, Shandong province. [Photo/]

"Before the festival, we discussed with the distilleries in the county to purchase the fruit at reasonable prices so that they can produce mulberry wine," said Zhang Ning, a local official.

Zhang added that the county has also been strengthening the cooperation with universities and institutions to promote an all-round development of the mulberry fruit industry and create a complete industrial chain.

At present, the county has developed nearly 30 kinds of commodities such as mulberry wine and mulberry leaf tea.

"The little mulberry fruit is worth twice as much after processing," Zhang said.