“I was struck by a fruit in the US about 30 years ago, which is avocado. Now I have brought it back, and let it grow all over the hill of my hometown in Yunnan province,” says proudly by Qi Jiazhu, the general manager of Green Silver Biotechnology Company in Pu’er city.
The Menglian autonomous county of Wa and Lahu minorities in Pu’er now is a major base for avocado production nationwide.
Containing various types of vitamins, as well as high protein and fat, avocado is believed to have great nutritional value.
In both North and South American countries, avocado is a commonplace, as it has often been used to make salad and milkshake, or simply been eaten with bread as a salsa.
However, this tropical fruit remained unfamiliar to most Chinese consumers until 2008, although it had appeared in the market as early as 2005.
“The Americans consume about 4 kg of avocados per person each year. And in Mexico, the home of avocado, this figure can reach more than 10 kg,” Mr. Qi explains.
“I’ve always dreamed to grow avocado on our own land,” says him.
With this idea in mind, Mr. Qi started his research of avocado in 2005. Breeding, selection and proper climate condition are his primary concerns.
The first avocado tree was transplanted to Yunnan in 2007. And after 8 years of experiments, he confirmed that the Menglian county of Pu’er is the most suitable place for avocado growing in the area.
Mass cultivation thus began in 2015.
Avocados of Menglian have been available on market since 2017.
Before, Chinese consumers had to rely on imports from Peru, Chile or Mexico, which would take up to a month to arrive.
But local production now allows everybody in the country to enjoy fresh avocados on his dinner table within 72 hours after online purchase.
“We’ve also cooperated with Rural Taobao to ensure that a strict quality control system is always applied throughout the production, transportation and selling,” Mr. Qi stresses.
“Avocado cultivation not only helps our farmers increase their income, but also makes the environment more pleasant,” Mr. Qi tells us.
“And our goal for the future is to brand the green food products of our province, and make Yunnan’s avocado as popular as its Pu’er tea and rose flower cake,” he says ambitiously.