Open Governance
Hejiang Lychees Go Abroad

  On the morning of July 23, in Guifei Avenue, Hejiang County, Luzhou City, five trucks loaded with 40 tons of lychees worth USD 120,000 set off for Shenzhen. These lychees will be exported to the United States and Canada and sold in local supermarkets. This is the first time that Sichuan lychees are exported and the first time for them to enter into the North American market.

  Of the 40 tons of lichees, 35 tons will be exported to the United States and five tons to Canada, said Ni Xiaocheng, General Manager of Hejiang Zhongli Agricultural Development Co., Ltd. Another 1,000 kilograms of Hejiang lychees worth about USD 17,000 will be shipped by air from Xiamen to Malaysia on July 24, and local lychees will also be exported to Japan, South Korea and other regions in the future, Ni said.

  "The market used to be limited, and the surrounding market failed to digest so many lychees," said Liang Qishu, Director of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Bureau of Hejiang County. He said that local lichees were sold to local markets in Sichuan and Chongqing, and then to the national market, and finally to the international market. The export this time further boosted the confidence of local lichees to explore overseas markets. Liang calculated that under normal foreign trade conditions, 40% of Hejiang lychees sold overseas would directly increase revenues by at least RMB 1.2 billion.

  There are still many things to do if Sichuan lychees want to expand overseas markets and maintain their status in overseas markets. The first step, said Liang, is to push the late varieties of Sichuan lychees to the limit by adjusting the planting structure. Before 2009, lychees in Hejiang County were mainly early-maturing varieties, and the middle-late maturing varieties accounted for only 10%. In recent years, the county has been constantly adjusting the litchi variety structure and encouraging the development of medium and late maturing varieties, with a goal to adjust the ratio of early, medium and late maturing varieties to 4:4:2. "By this year, the ratio of early, medium and late maturing varieties are about 5:4:1," said Liang.

  In addition, efforts should be stepped up to develop deep processing and extend the industrial chain. Luzhou Laojiao Fruit Wine Co., Ltd. and Hejiang Zhongli Agricultural Development Co., Ltd., plan to produce lychee wine, while Guangdong Zhongli Agriculture Group Co., Ltd. will also develop lychee vinegar and other products, said Chen Wenhai, Head of the Characteristic Industry Department of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Bureau of Hejiang County. "Hejiang will not only sell lychees, but also wants side-line range of lychee products to be sold in overseas markets."

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