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Hainan company hopes for hit with homegrown durian

By Chen Bowen in Sanya, Hainan | China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-28 09:45
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The Hainan Youqi Agricultural Company held a durian tasting on Aug 16 in its plantation in the Yucai Ecological Zone of Sanya. [Photo by CHEN BOWEN/for]

In 2015, however, 44 durian trees were introduced to Baoting Li and Miao autonomous county as part of afforestation efforts, and in 2019 they successfully bore fruit, which inspired the Hainan Youqi Agricultural Company to cultivate the tropical crop in Sanya, Baoting and Ledong county.

Growing the fruit in Hainan is advantageous due to the island's abundance of sunlight. But in Sanya, the largest durian plantation area of the province, its rainfall mainly occurs between July and September, which poses a challenge to farmers who need to ensure the trees are properly watered throughout the year.

To address the uneven rainfall, the company has built a reservoir and transformed its irrigation system, and has begun monitoring the growth of durian trees through sensors.

"We have adopted smart agriculture, as well as fertilizer and water automation. For example, we use a modern micro-spray system. If there is a shortage of water, the system will nourish the durian trees in a timely manner," said Lang Haibo, the company's deputy general manager.

Du said: "We also make our own organic fertilizer for the trees. We use local fish that have been fermented to make a protein, together with bean protein fertilizer."

Du's company is Hainan's largest durian producer. It has planted more than 466 hectares of durian trees in Sanya, of which about 86.7 hectares bore fruit for the first time in July and will finish yielding this month, with a total output of more than 40 metric tons expected.

The company hasn't yet put its first batch of durian on the market this year, but it has held durian tastings.

Durian is one of the top imported fruits in China.

"But next year, durian lovers will be able to purchase Sanya durian in tasting houses in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Guangdong province," Du said.

The company is developing a quality rating system and constructing a cold storage chain to lock in the fruit's natural taste, so that people in other areas of China can enjoy the fresh taste of Sanya durian next year.

In Qionghai's World Tropical Fruit Agricultural Base, many varieties of well-known durian trees introduced from Southeast Asia are bearing fruit. Some of these durian have been sold across the country, according to the city's media center.

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