Fund to assist strawberry growers

Jiading Industrial Zone has raised a special fund of 1 million yuan (US$157,000) to help promote local Nongdeng Strawberries.

Jiading Industrial Zone has raised a special fund of 1 million yuan (US$157,000) to help promote local Nongdeng Strawberries by introducing professional teams, improving infrastructures and building an e-commercial platform.

The sandy soil in Jiading is right for producing quality strawberries, and as a result Dengta Village has been growing the fruit since the 1980s.

Over the years, the strawberry quality has been improving. In 2002, an agricultural cooperative for Nongdeng Strawberries was set up. The village Party chief Qin Jianliang said since then, the scale, species and technology had all changed for the better.

The planting area has reached over 66.7 hectares while many quality species have been introduced. A total of 150 agricultural households benefit from the strawberry industry.

In 2014, the village was even honored by the then Ministry of Agriculture as a demonstration village because of its strawberries.

Yet the village found its influence limited due to scattered planting, the lack of management and the shortage of people to continue planting strawberries.

The newly launched fund will be used to introduce strawberry planting professionals, shaping the brand and market promotion, expanding sales channels, designing new packaging suitable for delivery as well as cleaning up the planting environment and providing financial support in the event of natural disasters.

The district is working on an agricultural experience tour featuring strawberries. Previously the lack of complete infrastructure was less satisfying for tourists. The tour environment will be updated with renovated public roads, dining and leisure facilities and sales centers.

The district will also try to obtain financial support to introduce the Internet of Things and information technologies to make strawberries more tempting.

Selling methods and packaging will be adapted as well to make the selling process less affected by the seasons and the supply more stable, through approaches such as cooperating with e-commerce enterprises and establishing cold-chain logistics systems.

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