Taiwan pitaya yields sweet success on the Chinese mainland
An orchard in Xiamen, Fujian province recently entered its harvest season and is now filled with the intoxicating aroma of ripe fruit.
This orchard is owned by Taiwan native Tseng Chun-I, who traveled to Xiamen after setting his sights on business opportunities in the Chinese mainland six years ago.
After arriving in the city, Tseng built a base in Xiang'an district to plant typical Taiwan fruits like red heart pitaya, which is famous for its sweetness and high nutritional value. This move eventually brought him considerable economic benefits.
Tseng later explored rural revitalization with the help of the local youth. With the local government's support, Tseng established a pitaya cooperative which not only provides high-quality seedlings and technical guidance, but also sets the standards for quality, packaging and sales. This has in turn attracted numerous local farmers to the cooperative.
Authorities of Xiang'an district have also made great efforts to boost the pitaya industry by encouraging Xiamen youths working in other cities to return to their hometown.
The returnees then set up online channels to sell a variety of pitaya-related products like pitaya tea and pitaya noodles on e-commerce platforms, thus contributing to the growth of the pitaya industry.
The authorities also hosted the first Pitaya Innovation Season in 2018 where a series of events focused on the integration of pitaya production and services were held.
Following in Tseng Chun-i's footsteps, an increasing number of Taiwan youths have come to Xiang'an district. Sung Chih-ping, chairman of the Rongjieyuan Taiwan Fruit Sightseeing Orchard, is one of them.
Sung's orchard features over 20 kinds of fruit from Taiwan. He is currently experimenting with adding these fruits to dishes.
The development of the pitaya industry further expanded in 2019 when Xiamen authorities worked with Tseng to introduce pitaya and its planting techniques to Yongjing county, Gansu province in Northwest China to help alleviate poverty.
Despite the harsh climate in Yongjing, the pitaya industry in the county has been thriving due to its knowledge of professional planting techniques.