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Yichang citrus festival attracts international buyers

By Liu Kun (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2013-10-14

The 3rd Yichang (Yiling) citrus festival opened in Yiling district of Yichang city in central China's Hubei province on Oct 12.

More than 200 domestic and overseas business people, from countries including the United States, Russia and Bangladesh, attended the opening ceremony of the two-day festival and signed contracts for 516,000 tons of citrus, or 90 percent of Yiling district's annual output, including contracts for 70,000 tons citrus signed with foreign countries such as Russia and Canada.

The contracts with foreign countries are expected to help local citrus producers expand into foreign markets.

Yiling district, located on the banks of Yangtze River and Xiling Gorges, is perhaps most famous as the site of the Three Gorges Dam, but it is also known as China's orange town.

Yiling has the highest acreage and output of oranges in Hubei province, and nearly 60,000 local farmers work in the citrus industry.

Last year, an output of 550,000 tons of fruits on 340,000 mu (22,667 hectares) of land realized sales of 1.07 billion yuan ($174.9 million).

In recent years, Yiling district has made efforts to develop the industry, and the local authorities have managed to sell oranges to different provinces around China and also to Southeast Asian countries and other countries including Russia.

Edited by Niva Whyman and Le Qin