Cactus fruit sweetens up profit for farmers in SW China’s Sichuan

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Publish Time: 2021-08-23 Author: From: CGTN

This summer, farmers are expecting a bumper harvest of more than 1,333 hectares of cactus fruit in Luding County in Garze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture of southwest China’s Sichuan Province. The bumper harvest will bring handsome incomes to the growers.

The cactus fruit is also known as prickly pear. It generally grows on the edges of the flat pads of cacti with a sweet flavor. Depending on the level of ripeness, the fruit can range from slightly sweet to syrupy sweet.

The unique taste and health benefits of the fruit of the thorny desert plant are much sought after among many Chinese foodies.

At a 66-hectare cactus orchard in Tongzilin Village of Luding County, farmers have recently been busy harvesting the green fruit to sell at farm produce markets nearby.

Amongst them, Gao Kailun said both the quality and quantity of this year’s produce are better than last year.

"We have grown about 0.27 to 0.33 hectares of cacti this year, and we can earn about 20,000 to 30,000 yuan (roughly $3,086 to $4,629) from growing and selling the fruit each year. This year’s output is considerable. We plan to sell them at markets in Luding at eight to 10 yuan (around $1.23 to $1.54) per kilogram. Our income is estimated at 30,000 to 40,000 yuan (about $4,629 to $6,172) this year," Gao stated.

Meanwhile, some prickly pear growers are riding the e-commerce wave to expand sales channels. Through online sales, the fruit can sell for prices six times as high as at local markets.

"It has been half a month since we started to send prickly pears to buyers in all parts of China. The large box can hold 2.5 kilograms or around 30 prickly pears. We can pack 100 to 200 boxes a day," said Han Xiufen, a local villager.

This year, Tongzilin Village alone is expected to harvest over 50,000 kilograms of prickly pears, with an annual output value of more than three million yuan (roughly $462,900).

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