Province offers bouquet of five green tea belts

Updated: 2007-10-16 07:12

Guizhou has developed into an important production area for high quality green tea, as it is one of China's most suitable regions for cultivation of the plant. The growth of the tea plant requires a warm and damp climate, with temperature, rainfall, sunshine hours and earth conditions affecting the growth of tea and determining its quality.

The province has a sub-tropical monsoon climate, with a frost-free period of 270 days a year. Its soil is composed mainly of the acidic yellow earth, red earth and the porous yellow-brown earth.

Guizhou has a high forest coverage rate of 39.9 percent overall, which goes up to as much as 61 percent in its eastern and southeastern areas. The low level of industrialization in the province, with the consequent low level of industrial pollution, has proved to be an advantage for the tea industry .

In the past, the low income of farmers prevented excessive application of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, the usage of which far lower in Guizhou than the national average, giving it the unique advantage of developing non-pollution green food and organic food.

The province's counties of Meitan and Qinglong have been listed by the Ministry of Agriculture among the first batch of counties establishing non-pollution agricultural products, while Fenggang County won the title of "China's township of organic, zinc-rich and selenium-rich tea".

To date, 70,000 mu (15 mu=1 hectare) of non-pollution tea, 60,000 mu of green food tea and 35,000 mu of organic tea production areas have passed verification in the province, which has developed five green tea industrial belts.

Selenium-rich and zinc-rich quality green tea industrial belt in northern Guizhou

Zunyi, a major city in northern Guizhou, is situated on the northeast slope of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, which borders Sichuan Province in northwest and Hunan Province in the east.

It has a central sub-tropical moist monsoon climate. Situated between 700 and 1,400 m above sea level, the area has 250 to 350 frost-free days a year, while the average annual temperature is between 14 and 18 C. The soil is rich in selenium, zinc and strontium, making the area an ideal place for growing quality tea with green, organic and ecological advantages.

There are 400,000 mu of tea gardens in the area, of which 18,000 and 22,000 mu are dedicated to green food tea and organic tea respectively. The main species are of the medium and small-leaf variety, namely Fuding Dabai Tea, Qianmei series and Meitantai Tea.

Brands of Meitan green sprouts, Meijiang green leaf, Fenggang selenium-rich and zinc-rich organic tea, Yaolao silver sprouts, Zunyi Maofeng, and so on are the favorites of domestic consumers.

By the year 2020, the green tea industrial belt will cover 1.3 million mu, and be spread over the Meitan, Fenggang, Yuqing, Zheng'an and Daozhen counties, according to the provincial plan.

Export-quality green tea industrial belt in eastern Guizhou

This belt in eastern Guizhou consists of Qiandongnan prefecture and Tongren. It connects Sichuan Province in the north, neighbors Hunan Province in the east and borders Guangxi in the south. The area has a sea level of 500 to 1,500 m, with a sub-tropical moist monsoon climate. It has a 300-day frost-free period and average annual temperature of 16.8 C.

Forest coverage in the eastern part of Guizhou is over 60 percent.

There are 280,000 mu of tea gardens in the area, of which 14,000 mu and 5,000 mu are dedicated to green food tea and organic tea respectively. Main varieties grown in the area include Fuding Dabai Tea, Longjing (Dragon Well) and Shiqiantai Tea, which are popular in Beijing, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, as well as among foreign dealers.

By 2020, the area under tea plantation will be increased to 1.3 million mu, ranging from Shiqian, Songtiao, Yinjiang, Liping and Danzhai to Leishan County.

High-grade famous green tea industrial belt in central Guizhou

The central Guizhou area consists of Guiyang, Anshun and Qiannan. It is situated in the central basin of Miaoling Mountain. It has a frostless period of 270 to 290 days per year and the average annual temperature is between 15 and 17 C.

The area is the main production area of famous and high-grade green tea in Guizhou. It has 300,000 mu of tea garden planted with Fuding Dabai Tea, Zhejiang Jiukeng and Guiding "Bird's King". Among them, Guiding Silver Sprouts and Guiding Yunwu were special tribute varieties of tea for the imperial court between the reigns of the emperors Qianlong (1736-1795) and Guangxu (1875-1908).

By 2020, the high-grade green tea industrial belt will be expanded to 1.55 million mu covering the counties of Pingba, Xixiu, Kaiyang, Dujun and Guiding.

Early maturing green tea and scented tea industrial belt in southwest Guizhou

Southwest Guizhou is situated in the valley of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in the southwest. The land has a sea level of 500 to 1,100 m and 312 frost-free days a year, while average annual temperature ranges between 13.6 and 19 C.

The area is the major raw material base for broad-leaf and scented tea in Guizhou. It currently has 80,000 mu of tea gardens, mainly growing Yunnan Menghai broad-leaf tea. Famous brands include Guilong, Putian and Shanglong.

Alpine organic green tea industrial belt in northwest Guizhou

Northwestern Guizhou includes Liupanshui and Bijie. It borders Yunnan in the west and Sichuan Province in the north. The area has a sea level of between 900 and 2,100 m. It has a north sub-tropical plateau monsoon climate, which varies according to altitude. It has a frost-free period of 210 to 290 days with an average annual temperature of 13.7 C.

There are 180,000 mu of tea garden in the area, of which green food tea and organic tea gardens occupy 15,000 mu and 11,000 mu respectively. Major varieties grown are Fuding Dabai Tea, Longjing and Qianmei serials.

(China Daily 10/16/2007 page24)