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Zhouzhi Kiwifruit Production Expected To Exceed 500,000 Tons

September 14, 2022

As China enters early autumn, the season for fresh kiwifruit from Zhouzhi County has arrived, when 3,000 to 4,000 boxes are sent out to destinations across the country every day.

Although the hot and dry weather in Shaanxi province over the summer has impacted the fruit’s size, this year’s crop is still estimated at over half a million metric tons. Moreover, the high temperatures are conducive to sugar conversion, granting the kiwifruit a sweeter taste than usual. The minimum picking standard for Zhouzhi kiwifruit is a soluble solid content of 6.5%, whereas this year’s crop has already reached an average soluble solid content of around 8.5%. When the kiwifruit is fully mature, its solid content can reach 18–20%.

This year, Zhouzhi County has continued to prohibit the premature harvesting and selling of kiwifruit. After years of efforts, early harvesting practices among farmers have been significantly curbed. In order to ensure high quality, authorities in Zhouzhi County strictly control the production and sales of kiwifruit and enforce unified production standards and harvesting times. Online and offline promotions are carried out in parallel, boosting the popularity and recognition of Zhouzhi kiwifruit in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other major cities across China.

According to the official picking schedule, the harvesting times for the various varieties of Zhouzhi kiwifruit are as follows: Xuxiang from late September to early or mid-October; Hayward and Jinkui from late October to early November; Qinmei, Qihong and Ruiyu from early to mid-October; Cuixiang and Hongyang in early to mid-September; Jinxiang and Yate in late September; Nongda Golden in mid-to-late September; and Jintao, Jinyan and other yellow-fleshed varieties in mid-to-late October.

Owing to continuous quality improvement, a reduction in national kiwifruit production and the prohibition on early harvesting, the purchase price of Zhouzhi kiwifruit has increased in recent years. Taking Cuixiang kiwifruit as an example, the price has continued to rise as most farmers united against early harvesting practices. Between 2020 and 2022, the price more than doubled, rising from 4–6 Chinese yuan ($0.57–0.86) per kilogram to 12 yuan ($1.72) per kilogram. With the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese National Day approaching, the price is expected to increase further.

At present, the kiwifruit cultivation area in Zhouzhi County is approaching 30,000 hectares, with a total production of around 550,000 metric tons. The county’s 26 kiwifruit processing enterprises have a combined annual processing capacity of 150,000 metric tons and currently use over 70,000 metric tons of raw fruit, with a total annual sales revenue of around 1.8 billion yuan ($258 million). Zhouzhi County’s primary, secondary and tertiary kiwifruit industries have a total revenue in excess of 6 billion yuan ($861 million).

Zhouzhi County is now China’s largest kiwifruit demonstration base and is known as the “home of kiwifruit” in China. Through 40 years of development, Zhouzhi kiwifruit growers have cultivated high-quality varieties such as Qinmei, Yate, Cuixiang and Huayou and introduced other renowned varieties including Hayward, Hongyang, Xuxiang and Jinyan, forming a diversified product range with distinct red-, yellow- and green-fleshed kiwifruit and a reasonable blend of early-, mid- and late-ripening varieties.

Image: Unsplash

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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