xi's moments
Home | Society

Avocados boost income for Yunnan farmers

China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-07 09:13

A farmer from the Wa ethnic group harvests avocados in an orchard in Menglian county, Yunnan province, on Jan 12. JIANG WENYAO/XINHUA

KUNMING — As the Lunar New Year approached, fruit growers in a Chinese county bordering Myanmar were working hard to pick their crops of ripe avocados to get the best price for their produce.

Avocados are now a major cash crop in Menglian county, Yunnan province, which has been growing the fruit since 2014. With a seasonal output of 15,000 metric tons, it is currently China's largest avocado growing area.

Yanhou, a local grower and member of the Wa ethnic group, said that as one of the first to take up avocado growing in Yinggou village, he expects his orchard to bring in 100,000 yuan ($14,870) this season.

Since 2018, he has planted some 4 hectares of avocados, but at first, only about a quarter of the trees yielded fruit.

"It's not easy to try something new," he said, adding that thanks to the help of the local government and agricultural specialists, he has learned skills such as the effective use of pesticides, irrigation, weeding and orchard management, which he now shares with fellow villagers.

The avocado is a foreign introduction to local residents, who have traditionally relied on rubber, tea and sugar cane.

Known as "butter fruit" in China due to its creamy flesh, imports of this still exotic fruit have received a warm response, giving farmers the confidence to start growing the nutrient-rich crop.

With its tropical climate, Menglian's climate is similar to that found in the world's main avocado-producing areas.

Fang Yanling, who is in charge of rural asset management in Nayun township, said that in order to maximize the avocado's potential, it is important not to make mistakes during the process of planting, sorting and transporting the fruit.

She said the township now boasts 1,066 hectares of collectively owned avocado orchards, which are expected to generate about 1 million yuan this season that will be paid out to farmers in dividends.

"We expect a higher yield from the orchards next year, and earnings will increase," Fang said.

Han Bo, deputy county chief, said avocado growing has provided farmers with a new source of income.

Adding that since 2014, the local government has been committed to promoting avocado planting, Han said that new growers receive subsidies as incentives, and the local government has brought in specialists to support seedling research and improve growing techniques.

Today, Menglian county is home to more than 4,666 hectares of avocados, which employ 25,000 people in six townships. Indeed, Yinggou village has replaced its traditional corn fields with avocado and coffee plantations.

The county's residents have become adept at developing new avocado dishes with local twists, including fried avocados, pickles with avocados, stewed chicken with avocados and fried meat with avocados.

"If an avocado is raw, half is enough, but once it is cooked, I can eat a whole one," said one villager, adding that the creation of new dishes will spur demand for the exotic, buttery fruit.


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349