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How to prosper when life gives you lemons

By Xinhua | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-24 07:34

How to prosper when life gives you lemons

Workers pack fresh lemons into freezer bags at a factory of the Huida Group in Tongnan, Chongqing.Photos By Wang Quanchao / Xinhua

When is a lemon not just a lemon? Well, in Tongnan, a district of Southwest China's Chongqing, it can become anything from fruit tea to a facial mask to essential oils once it hits the production line.

China is not traditionally grower of lemons, but Tongnan dominates the domestic market with nearly 100 processed lemon products that it exports to about 30 countries.

More than 40,000 families are involved in planting 13,000 hectares of lemons in the district at present, with plans to have 30,000 hectares of lemon groves generating 30 billion yuan ($4.3 billion) of revenue by 2020.

Tongnan's success is an example of agricultural supply-side structural reform in action. The local government has placed much hope in the Huida Group, leader of the country's nascent lemon processing business.

Dai Xiaoping, founder of Huida, believes the company's success lies in what he calls "deep processing", which means making use of all parts of the fruit.

"The flesh of a lemon can be made into dried lemon slices and drinks, its skin and seeds into fruit tea, and the oil in the skin can be used in cosmetics," he said.

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