Across China: Guizhou farming county aiming to be matcha powerhouse

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 30, 2024
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GUIZHOU, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Tea farmers have recently been busy with spring tea picking in Jiangkou, southwest China's Guizhou Province, which has transformed from a small agricultural county to a world-class matcha super factory.

Located at the foot of Mount Fanjingshan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jiangkou County covers an area of more than 1,800 square km and has a population of over 200,000.

About a decade ago, the tea plantation area of the county was only 333 hectares. Now, it has expanded to about 10,666 hectares, with nearly one-fifth of the area dedicated to matcha production, and spanning across the townships of Minxiao, Taiping, Minhe, Guanhe and Dewang.

In 2023, matcha sales in Jiangkou County had surpassed 1,000 tonnes, with a total output value of 200 million yuan (about 29.17 million U.S. dollars). A variety of its matcha products feature in beverage shops and pastry shops in cities across China. Products also include cosmetics and health products, while some products have even been exported to countries such as Japan, the United States, Britain and France.

In 2017, the county introduced a leading agricultural industrial enterprise which built a high-standard industrial park there, featuring advanced and intelligent production techniques.

The subsidiary of Guizhou Gui Tea Group Co., Ltd. is capable of producing matcha that meets European standards.

"The European-standard matcha is a flagship product of our company, known for its high amino acid and chlorophyll content, and being pollution-free, making it a healthy food choice. The company has also developed over 20 other types of products, including matcha lattes, matcha noodles, and matcha facial soaps, which are highly favored by young consumers," said Meng Zude, general manager of the subsidiary of the group.

In recent years, the matcha industry in Guizhou has adopted a development model involving enterprises, cooperatives and farmers, and this model has been implemented in 22 counties. Nearly 100,000 tea farmers have benefited from this initiative, which has resulted in increased incomes.

Wang Junde, a resident of Guakou Village, Bapan Township, is among the beneficiaries.

"I've seen the tea industry in Guizhou become increasingly high-end. My income from tea-related work is increasing year by year," he said, adding that he used to earn around 70 to 80 yuan per day, but can now earn over 100 yuan daily by doing odd jobs at tea plantations near his home.

Experts and agronomists believe that Guizhou, located on a plateau, possesses geographical and climatic advantages such as high altitude, low latitude, abundant fog and limited sunlight ideal for growing tea. Therefore, tea produced in this area is green, ecological and organic. Combined with the widespread implementation of green pest control measures, Guizhou tea products are poised for a bright future. Enditem

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