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Fuping's sweet success: Persimmon industry drives rural prosperity in Shaanxi province

By Qin Feng and Quan Zhanfu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-06-24 23:09

A view of persimmon trees in Yangjia village in Fuping county, Shaanxi province, on Friday. Qin Feng / China Daily

A celebration of all things persimmon unfolded in Zhuangli township on Friday, showcasing the bounty of Fuping county's thriving persimmon industry. Visitors explored a wide array of persimmon products, from classic dried persimmons to innovative fillings, wines, and vinegars — a testament to the sweet success story transforming this rural region in Northwest China's Shaanxi province.

Farmer Yang Zhengchuan tends to persimmon fruits hanging on the branches in Yangjia village, in Fuping, Shaanxi province, on Friday. Qin Feng / China Daily

Villager Yang Zhengchuan exemplifies the positive impact. Cultivating over nearly three hectares of persimmon orchards, Yang earns over 200,000 yuan ($27,600) annually. This prosperity stems from significant improvements in soil and water conservation practices.

"Before," Yang recalls, "our fields were sloped and susceptible to erosion, hindering water retention and crop yields."

The solution came in the form of terraced fields, meticulously constructed to maximize planting area and improve water retention. This not only prevented soil erosion but also ensured the quality of persimmons.

Zhou Qi, director of the Fuping County Soil and Water Conservation and Resettlement Center, elaborated on Zhuangli's transformation. Here, 90 hectares of water and sand conservation forests and 130 hectares of terraced fields now grace the hillsides, dedicated to persimmon cultivation. The annual yield translates to a remarkable 42 million yuan in output value and a per capita income increase exceeding 5,000 yuan per year.

Workers showcase persimmon products in Fuping county, Shaanxi province, on Friday. Qin Feng / China Daily

Fuping's commitment extends beyond conservation efforts. A dedicated annual budget of 5 million yuan supports local farmers and persimmon businesses. Collaboration with Northwest A&F University established a research institute to promote the industry's scientific development through technological advancements.

Knowledge transfer is also prioritized. Over 50 annual training sessions equip farmers with the latest persimmon cultivation techniques, benefiting over 10,000 individuals.

Furthermore, Fuping fosters integrated development across primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors. Deep processing allows for over 10 persimmon products, including wine and vinegar, employing 25,000 households directly. Additionally, tourism flourishes with attractions like the Persimmon Corridor, Museum, and Cultural Experience Center.

Fuping's dedication has paid off. In 2023, the county boasted a persimmon planting area of 24,000 hectares, yielding 280,000 tons of fresh fruit and processing 70,000 tons of dried persimmons, generating an output exceeding 6.5 billion yuan. This success story has attracted over 130,000 local residents to the industry, solidifying Fuping's persimmon industry as a cornerstone of rural revitalization.

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