In a blueberry greenhouse, a grower displays freshly picked blueberries. [Photo by Li Liang/xihaiannews.com]
The blueberry industry in Qingdao West Coast New Area (WCNA), which is known for the popular Huangdao Blueberry brand, has flourished over the past 22 years of development.
On March 2, Huangdao Blueberry re-awakened public interest when it was named to the "Shandong Good Products" brand list. It was rated as a geographical indication agricultural product by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2012, and it was voted as the favorite agricultural product brand by residents in Qingdao city in an online poll in 2016.
The blueberry planting area in Qingdao WCNA has expanded greatly to 6,200 hectares from the original 40-hectare test field. Last year, the total output of blueberries in Qingdao WCNA reached 26,900 metric tons, with an output value of 1.05 billion yuan ($165.37 million).
In 2021, Qingdao WCNA's blueberries entered markets in many cities across China and were widely praised for the unique sweet and sour taste and soft and waxy texture.
Superior natural conditions make Qingdao WCNA one of the best blueberry cultivation areas in the country, said Li Tiezhu, an official from Qingdao WCNA's agriculture and rural affairs bureau. He said the soil and climate in Qingdao WCNA are ideal for growing blueberries.
The blooming blueberry business also became an engine for rural revitalization in Qingdao WCNA. There are 16 blueberry enterprises above designated size and 22 farm cooperatives, employing about 68,000 farmers in the blueberry planting industry.
Growers pack harvested blueberries. [Photo by Wang Xue/xihaiannews.com]
Staff observe the growth of blueberry seedlings. [Photo by Wang Xue/xihaiannews.com]