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Sichuan Province’s First Special Train of Agricultural Products Heading for Russia

  In the early morning of Feb. 9, a train of China-Euro Railway Express (Chengdu-Euro Railway Express) loaded with early spring vegetable of Panzhihua (a city in Sichuan) set off from Chengdu International Railway Port to Russia. It will reach Moscow in 12 days. This is the first train for the export of Sichuan’s agricultural products and the first one with cold-chain vegetable export in the whole journey.

  The train has 15 containers filled with 135 tons of fresh tomatoes and 25 tons of bell peppers. It will leave China via Erenhot port and pass through Siberia to the Moscow station. Subsequently, the vegetable will be sold on the well-known supermarkets’ shelves in Russia via a Moscow-based import and export company and radiate Moscow's largest agricultural products trading center in the entire eastern European market.

  Earlier, our province had already exported agricultural products by China-Euro Railway Express (Chengdu-Euro Railway Express), while most of them were fruit with a few containers and there was not any special train. Besides, its main form was border trade and these productsbecame "raw materials" of foreign brands. Now, this special train makes direct supply a reality.

  Sichuan is a major agricultural province, whose export value of agricultural products always hovering at less than 1 billion US dollars. As an important production base of winter and spring vegetable in our country, Sichuan boasts more than 20 million mu of sown area of vegetable with an output of more than 40 million tons. It sells more than 12 million tons of vegetable outside Sichuan whose value has surpassed 150 billion yuan. However, our vegetable export value is only about 0.06 billion US dollars whichis mainly from vegetable processing with relatively small amount of fresh vegetable export. Though there are great advantages of agricultural products in our province, we failed to make our brands famous and penetrate our own market. This is our major weaknessin agricultural development.

  In recent years, Sichuan, aiming at the structural reform of the agricultural supply-side, will make base building, brand creating and processing cultivating our key tasks. The Provincial Department of Agriculture and Panzhihua City have seized the "window period" of vegetable market supply around Russian New Year's Day with the advantage that the harvesting time of early spring vegetable in Panzhihua is 2-3 months earlier than that of other areas. Therefore, with China-Euro Railway Express (Chengdu-Euro Railway Express), we can go out for international market to explore an export logisticschannel for agricultural products in Sichuan. Around the Spring Festival, relevant companies and Liangshan Prefecture will also export high-quality bell peppers from Liangshan to Kazakhstan. With the help of platforms and channels such as China-Euro Railway Express (Chengdu-Euro Railway Express), Sichuan’s agricultural products will continue to be promoted along the "Belt and Road" countries and local people. Officials of the Provincial Department of Agriculture said, "It is of milestone significance for making up the weak area of Sichuan’s agricultural export."

  Railway transportation of agricultural products has advantages of large quantity,low cost and not being affected by the weather in winter. At present, there are two trains of China-Euro Railway Express (Chengdu-Euro Railway Express) towards Russiaper month. In Januarythis year, more than 80 trains have set off with a few special freezers which are rare in China, providing plenty of choices for Sichuan’sfarm productsgoing abroad.

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