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Chinese market welcomes greenhouse strawberries with open arms

On the morning of the 5th of April, the couple Zhang Yongfeng and Zhang Wei walked through their greenhouse strawberry farm in Hexizhifang Village in Shandong and carefully gathered the bright red strawberries in their baskets.

This is already the third harvest of the season. Their daily production volume is around 200-250 kg. Zhang Yongfeng and Zhang Wei opened their greenhouse for business four years ago. The farm consists of two connected greenhouses and the production volume has always been good. "We began cultivating the seedlings in August last year. The first strawberries ripened in December last year and the harvest will continue until early June," explained Zhang Wei. Every day the couple are busy in the greenhouse. They harvest the strawberries, pack them, and deliver them to the collection point in the village. The current purchase price is around 7-8 yuan [1.10-1.26 USD] per 0.5 kg.

Xiu Zhongyi is one of the strawberry buyers in Hexizhifang Village. Tidy stacks of strawberry crates pile up in front of the house. Xiu Zhongyi purchased more than 500 kg of strawberries by three o'clock in the afternoon, and as soon as they were loaded on the truck Xiu Zhongyi drove to the market.

"Our strawberries are all distributed throughout Hebei. I drive eight hours to reach the wholesale market there." Xiu Zhongyi has purchased strawberries for the last 10 years. As the number of strawberry farmers near Hexizhifang Village grows, Xiu Zhongyi is able to buy more and more high-quality strawberries. The Sweet Jewel strawberries from Pingdu county, where the village is located, are large, bright red, and sweet. They are therefore very popular with Chinese consumers.

The market sales are stable and so the villagers of Hexizhifang Village grow wealthier. The village party secretary, Xiu Shuping, explained that villagers used to hire out as labor in other regions, but now that the village has more than 20 greenhouse strawberry farms, local youths no longer move away. They can earn their money in the village instead.

Source: Peninsula News

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