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Thriving tea industry infuses vitality into rural town in Guangxi

Source: China Daily Updated: 2024-03-21

NANNING — In the early spring, the slopes of the mountains in Zhaoping county in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region are a hive of activity as farmers navigate their way through the lush tea bushes, their baskets full of freshly picked tea leaves.

Tea in Zhaoping has grown into a pivotal industry for local farmers, increasing incomes and breathing new life into their rural communities.

With its scale continuing to expand, the planting area and output of tea have increased gradually and the reputation of Zhaoping tea has become very influential.

"I have been working in a local tea garden for a long time and now earn up to 200 yuan ($28) per day," said Liu Mei, a resident of Zhaoping, who added she has been especially busy of late.

"Compared to finding a job far away, I prefer working here in the tea garden close to my home. Additionally, the earnings are respectable. They also provide training, allowing me to enrich my understanding of tea tree planting and management," Liu added.

Apart from the tea farmers walking back and forth, tourists can also be spotted in the fields, as tea-related tourism has made a stir.

Wandering the winding trails of the tea mountains, visitors can learn about tea tree varieties, organic tea cultivation management, fresh leaf picking and environmentally friendly pest control, as well as experience the planting and picking process, tea roasting and tea oil making.

Wu Yongying, deputy general manager of Guxiang, said the company has been developing leisure agriculture tourism, improving tourism infrastructure and related facilities and enhancing services for visitors.

The burgeoning tea-related tourism industry has also helped promote the development of the local tea industry and the millennia-old tea culture of Zhaoping.

In recent years, Zhaoping has also optimized its industrial structure to maximize its potential.

Guangxi Jiangjunfeng Tea Industry Group, located in an industrial park north of Zhaoping, has introduced automation. "The company has achieved intelligent production of tea processing, effectively promoting standardized tea production and increasing output," said a company official, adding the tea products will be sold in provinces such as Guangdong and Fujian.

Last year, the tea plantation area in Zhaoping exceeded 17,333 hectares, with a dry tea output of 20,900 metric tons and output value surpassing 2.4 billion yuan. The tea industry in the county employs 120,000 people, with an average annual income surpassing over 5,000 yuan.

"In the next step, Zhaoping will further increase investment in the development of the tea industry, continuously focusing on organic tea and pursuing the high-quality development of the tea industry," said Huang Shoupeng, head of the agriculture and rural affairs bureau of Zhaoping county.