Published: 16:23, September 22, 2023 | Updated: 16:31, September 22, 2023
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Exporters enjoy success with rewarding plum job
By ​Yang Yang and Mao Weihua in Kashgar, Xinjiang

Abliz Karim, 70, talks about the good Xinmei harvest in his orchard in Yingmailiu town in Payzawat county in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. (YANG YANG / CHINA DAILY)

Last month, plums from Payzawat county in Kashgar, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, made their export debut as they were shipped to Malaysia. The European plums grown in Xinjiang are also called Xinmei.

Payzawat county is the largest production area of Xinmei covering an area of 30,000 hectares. It accounts for 40 percent of the total in the country, and contributes to 60 percent of the total output, according to official statistics.

It takes 15 days to transport Xinmei from Kashgar to Malaysia. First the fruit is transported to the Shenzhen port in cold chain transport vehicles before being shipped to Malaysia.

As of Aug 21, 17 Xinmei orchards in Kashgar have applied for export qualifications, with an estimated production of over 9,000 metric tons. Fruit products can be exported to countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, including Malaysia and Singapore.

To improve the quality of the Xinmei sector, Payzawat county built the Guangdong-Payzawat Xinmei Industrial Park in Yingmailiu town in 2021.

Covering an area of 243,000 square meters, the park includes four main functional areas: research and training area, demonstration area, cold chain warehousing, logistics and intelligent sorting area, as well as a deep processing and packaging area.

This industrial park has played a significant role in promoting the integration of all elements of the Xinmei sector in Payzawat, and has laid the foundation for the development of a comprehensive chain, integrating production, education, research, and the convergence of primary, secondary and tertiary industries.

Farmers can learn to grow Xinmei at the training center in the Guangdong-Payzawat Xinmei Modern Industrial Park. (YANG YANG / CHINA DAILY)

Having received training, 70-year-old villager Abliz Karim from Yingmailiu town had a bountiful harvest this year. His 1.13 hectares orchard, now in its ninth year, produced high-quality fruit with a yield of around 4 tons per mu (0.067 hectare).

"This year marks the fourth year since my Xinmei trees started bearing fruit. In the first year, I sold them for 5,000 yuan ($685), in the second year for 140,000 yuan, in the third year for 170,000 yuan. This year, my Xinmei trees brought in 850,000 yuan. In the future, I will continue to manage my Xinmei orchard well, aiming for an annual income exceeding 1 million yuan," says Abliz.

Xinmei has become a pillar sector for increasing incomes and enriching people in Payzawat. Last year, it contributed an average increase of 5,650 yuan per capita for local farmers.

Inside the Guangdong-Payzawat Xinmei Modern Industrial Park, workers are packing the fruits into boxes for cold chain distribution to major cities in northern, central, and southern China.

Payzawat county has established a cold chain logistics system with a total capacity of 150,000 tons, extending the sales period from the previous 20 to 30 days to two to four months, which has led to higher selling prices.

Additionally, the county has introduced companies to develop and manufacture 22 types of products, including fruit juice, dried fruit, fruit wine and fruit jam, thus forming a complete chain for Xinmei.

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