Chinese company invests in organic blueberry export scheme
Chinese blueberry company Linhai Technology has embarked on an export-oriented organic blueberry project in the northeastern province of Jilin, newspaper Liaoyuan Daily reported.
The company estimates a total investment of CNY5 million (US$820,698) for the production initiative, which it is developing in conjunction with the Dongfeng county.
The story reported that 80,000 blueberry orchards had been planted across 180 acres in the village of Yingchang, while a further 120 acres was planted in Nadanbo and Hengdaohe.
The surface area represents just a small fraction of China's estimated total blueberry production, but the initiative shows the growing interest in the crop from the country's horticultural entrepreneurs.
At current prices, Linhai expects the project would yield a profitability of CNY10,000 (US$1,641) per acre in three years time, which would be five times more lucrative than corn.
The story added that local government and growers aimed to make Jilin the " biggest blueberry base in northern China within the next three to five years".
South of Jilin in the Liaoning province, the Dalian Blueberry Industry Association was formed in September, and its first meeting was held in the port city this week with 30 representatives from the Dalian Agriculture Commission Fruit Industry Management Office (DACFIMO) in attendance.
In a speech, DACFIMO director Jiang Xusheng highlighted Dalian had advantages over the rest of China in terms of climate, location, seedlings, technology, and national policy compared.
"With these advantages the development of the Dalian blueberry industry has achieved good results. However, a lack of fruit selecting equipment and brand influence remains, while sales have been rocky," Jiang said.
It has been reported that the formation of agricultural cooperatives has raised blueberry yields ten times in the Wei village of Dalian's Jinzhou district.
According to the Dalian Municipal Committee of Rural Economy, the cooperative is the first of its kind for blueberries in the area, with 2,000 acres of land dedicated to the crop with 208 growers and 60 greenhouses.
With Dihui Ecological Park pioneering the efforts, Jiang claims "it has formed a blueberry planting, purchasing, processing, sales and one-stop industrial supply chain". The cooperative also regularly invites university professors to lecture blueberry-growing techniques to the farmers.