Yantai apple: King of fruits

Yantai apple: King of fruits

Yantai is the hometown of apples, with an apple planting area of 2.55 million mu (170,000 hectares) and an annual output of 3.6 million tons, accounting for about 16 percent of the country’s total. Yantai is China's largest production and processing base of Red Fuji apples.

The Yantai apple was introduced in 1871 by American missionaries. With a history of over 140 years, the Yantai apple has more than 100 varieties. It has been long famous and welcomed by domestic and foreign markets for its bright color and succulent and sweet taste. Yantai has become one of China's largest apple cultivation areas, with its apple planting areas increasing by 25 times compared to the 1950s and output growing by 75 times. Qixia, Laiyang, Longkou, Zhaoyuan, Penglai, Haiyang, Muping and Fushan are the major planting areas of Yantai apples. Among them, Qixia is the main producing area, which is known as the “Hometown of Apples in China”.

Yantai, located in the east of Jiaodong peninsula, enjoys a high altitude and a mild climate. Especially in summer and autumn, the moist air and adequate sunshine provide favorable conditions for apple planting. All these conditions have endowed Yantai apples with a bright color and sweet taste.

Yantai apples and related products have been exported to more than 30 countries and regions including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Russia with an annual export volume of 600,000 tons, accounting for one-fifth of the country's total. The apples have received a warm welcome by consumers around the world. Yantai is also the main producing area of the Laiyang pear. Currently, the cultivation area of pears in Yantai has been expanded to more than 50,000 mu (3,333.33 hectares) with an annual output of around 80,000 tons. The Laiyang pear is both a luscious fruit and an important material for medicine and health products.

In addition, Yantai is also famous for its cherries, grapes, peaches, persimmons and hawthorns.

The Yantai apple gained national geographic indication protection in 2002 and registered the trademark of the national geographic indication. In 2013, the brand value of the Yantai apple reached 9.41 billion yuan ($1.52 billion), ranking second in all Chinese agricultural product brands. It has been recognized as the top brand in the Chinese fruit industry for five consecutive years. Meanwhile, “Yantai Big Cherry”, another competitive agricultural product of the city, has entered the list of top 40 Chinese agricultural product brands with a brand value of 3.05 billion yuan.

Industrial upgrading of the Yantai apple

Development plan of Yantai's apple industry (2012-2020)

The Yantai apple is a golden brand of Chinese fruits and a highlight of agriculture products of Yantai in Shandong province.

China has become the largest apple producing and consuming country in the world, with its apple origins in Yantai. Apples were introduced into Yantai in 1871. After the continuous technological innovation, variety improvement, quality upgrading and brand building, the Yantai apple has not only dominated the domestic market but has also taken the lead in China's apple industry.

The unique maritime climate and the superior geographical location contribute to the high quality of Yantai apples, which feature red color and are crisp and sweet.

Bai Guoqiang, director of the Yantai municipal bureau of agriculture, said that since the 1980s, Yantai has made great improvement in apple selective breeding and orchard management, along with the introduction of Red Fuji, an internationally popular variety at that time, which contributed to the competitive advantages and the industrial status for the apple industry of Yantai and China.

Yantai has set up three State-level professional research institutions, namely the Apple Breeding Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Fruits and Nursery Stock Quality Inspection Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Yantai Comprehensive Test Station of the National Apple Industry Technology System. They provide strong support for breeding new excellent varieties and upgrading apple varieties. Yantai has taken the lead in fruit and seedling breeding.

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The Yantai government launched the Development Plan of the Yantai Apple Industry (2012-2020) in 2013.

The apple industry is Yantai's traditional competitive agricultural industry. Yantai aims at developing a quality, efficient, ecological and modern apple industry. It strives to build a modern production system, a technology-based system, a quality and safety supervision and inspection system, a multi-processing system and an advanced logistics system in a bid to maintain the sustainable and healthy industrial development and lift the profile of the Yantai apple at home and abroad.

Development goals:

By 2020, the apple planting areas are expected to reach 2.8 million mu (186,666.67 hectares), with the total output amounting to 6 million tons and the annual export volume reaching 1 million tons. Yantai aims to build its apple brand as China's top fruit brand and turn Yantai into a high-end apple product base.

Development priorities:

Scientific and technological research and innovation will be enhanced to cultivate fine varieties. Research should be focused on new technologies of virus eradication and detection to breed 30 million-odd virus-free buds each year. Orchard mechanization should be improved to develop new machinery and equipment. By 2020, Yantai will build 200,000 mu (13,333.33 hectares) of mechanized production bases and promote 8-10 types of orchard machinery.

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Yantai apple 

Yantai apple: King of fruits 

Yantai City, a well-known "land of fruits" in Shandong Province, is China's largest cultivation area of cash apples. The Yantai apple is famous nationwide for its various breeds, huge output and high quality. Yantai has a marine climate, with humid air, ample sunlight and appropriate rainfall, which is propitious to the growing of apples.

Yantai apple has a cultivation history of over 100 years. In the mid 19th century, it was the US missionaries that first introduced apples into China, and began cultivation and popularization in Yantai. This is how Yantai apple came into being. After so many years of cultivation and development, by far, Yantai apple has 100-odd breeds, the most famous of which are Hongxiangjiao Apple, Guoguang Apple, etc. About 90% of the villages in Yantai have apple orchards, and the planting area totals more than 700,000 mu (1 mu = 1/15 hectare), with an annual output of 500 million kilograms. Yantai apple abounds in nutrition of fructose, apple acid, vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and iron etc., and has high curative value, being especially good for kidney, stomach and heart, etc.