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China: The capital of Calabash

Luzhuang village near Liaocheng is known far and wide as the village of calabash. The common calabash fruit is cultivated here, earning the village an income of about 150,000 RMB per hectare. But the processing of calabash fruits is delicate work. If the skin of the calabash isn't removed at the right time, the fresh calabash fruits start to show spots and they can even start rotting. So when the fresh calabash fruits are harvested, the first step is to mechanically remove the skin.

Every year from September to November, customers from all over China head down to Luzhuang village because of its reputation for calabash fruits. At present, the calabash industry is a booming business in Liaocheng. From a scattered cultivation and processing to a comprehensive, centralised chain of production, all can be found here for calabash fruits. You can buy calabash fruits for only a few RMB or you can get prized and crafted fruits for up to 10,000 RMB. There are now more than 200 workshops for calabash processing in Luzhuang village. That is 80% of the whole Chinese calabash production and sales, making it by far the largest distribution centre in the country and rightfully earning the name the 'capital of calabash'.


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