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Guangdong on Trend | Maoming drives new growth through lychee industry

Located in southwest Guangdong Province, Maoming City is famous for its lychee industry, with the largest planting area and its annual production accounting for one-fifth of the world’s total volume.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made an inspection tour to Maoming on April 11, during which he went to Baiqiao Village of Genzi Town to learn about local efforts to develop the lychee industry and improve the farmers’ income.

Maoming's Genzi town is known as 'China's number one town for lychees.' In its Baiqiao village, the lychee plantation covers more than 450 hectares, taking up over 87 percent of its total space.

“This lychee orchard has a history of more than 2000 years with 39 trees over 500 years old and nine over 1300 years old. The older the tree is, the tastier the fruit is,” He Shuzhi, a local farmer dedicated to the protection of ancient trees, told GDToday in Gong Yuan (贡园), one of the lychee orchards in the village.

He explained that the orchard adopted diverse methods to sell the lychee fruit, and the fruit of old lychee trees has been popular during the harvest season. “We auctioned the one-year picking right of a tree over 800 years old, and the price went up to 1.88 million RMB.”

As the peak harvest season of lychee lasts for only about one and half months from May to July, farmers established cooperatives to jointly promote in the market and help develop diverse lychee products.

He Dawei, head of the Longan and Lychee Cooperative, elaborated that the cooperative helps unify standards and represents farmers to participate in the partnering meetings organized by the government frequently. “Now our products are on sale in more than 20 cities nationwide,” he said.

In addition, the cooperative launched products such as dried lychee, lychee honey and lychee soda, some of which are jointly developed with major food and beverage brands in China. Apart from offline retail, these products are popular through live streaming and e-commerce.

“Now that we sell more lychee fruit while the lychee processing lines have created more job opportunities, the cooperative's turnover reached 132 million RMB in 2022 with the average net income of members hitting 55 thousand RMB,” said He.

According to the Baiqiao village, the annual income of villagers last year stood at 51 thousand RMB, about 6 thousand USD through the lychee industry and tourism.

GDToday correspondent | Carson

GDToday editors | Zhao Yang, Wing, Jasmine, Clarice, James

Graphic designer | Mia

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