Blueberries increase farmer earnings in Rizhao
(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2020-06-22Print Print
Growing blueberries has greatly increased the incomes of farmers in Chentuan town, Donggang district, Rizhao city.
Chentuan benefits from low acid farmlands, which are perfect for growing blueberries, and the town has been developing its blueberry industry since 2005.
Blueberry growing has brought increased the wealth of Chentuan town. [Photo/dzwww.com]
After 15 years of development, the town now plans blueberries over an area of 1,666.67 hectares. In 2019, it produced 8,000 tons of blueberries, generating 280 million yuan ($39.57 million) in revenue.
Blueberries are suitable for large-scale cultivation, and the town has taken measures to promote land circulation and bring more profits to farmers.
It has also introduced 13 blueberry companies and built 28 standardized blueberry planting centers.
Hu Zhaohua, a local villager, used to work on a construction site in Rizhao. Last year, she decided to start working in a blueberry garden in Beituan village, three miles from her home.
"I can make 70 to 80 yuan a day at the construction site in Rizhao. Working at the orchard is better as it is close to home and my daily salary is 80 yuan," said Hu.
"There are 200 villagers working at blueberry planting centers and processing plants, and the number is expected to grow to 700 during harvest season," said Miao Ning, manager of a local company.
Miao said that villagers earn around 30,000 yuan per year from land transfers and working at the company.
The town has spent 60 million yuan building a blueberry research and development center to carry out blueberry seed breeding, attract talent, and provide technical training, said Liu Xinghua, Party secretary of Chentuan town.
Blueberries turn dark blue as they ripen. [Photo/dzwww.com]
The town has also built a blueberry processing park and launched a series of products, including blueberry jam, blueberry wine, dried blueberry, and blueberry pie, in an effort to develop a complete industrial chain, said Liu, adding that the town is also an developing agricultural sightseeing industry.