New technologies energize tea industry in China’s Guizhou Province

A selective focus shot of a female collecting tea leaves

In the picturesque Changgou Village of Jinsha County, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, the tea industry is flourishing thanks to the integration of cutting-edge technology. Strolling through his lush tea plantation, farmer Chen Shijun marvels at the vibrant green hue of the leaves and the abundant yield, exceeding 500 kg of tea leaves daily from his over 6.67-hectare plot.

Jinsha County, renowned as the “hometown of Gongcha (royal tea)” in China, has transitioned from traditional tea cultivation methods to tech-driven, large-scale production. Companies like Guizhou Jinsha Gongchachaye Corporation Limited have played a pivotal role in this transformation, contracting out segmented tea plantations to local farmers while providing them with organic fertilizers, farming tools, and pest control services.

“The company manages 82,000 mu of tea plantations and has contracted out segmented plots to local tea farmers,” said Zheng Jikui, deputy general manager of Guizhou Jinsha Gongchachaye. “We’ve consistently aided in enhancing the agricultural skills of tea farmers through our collaboration with research institutes.”

The partnership with Guizhou University’s green pesticide laboratory has promoted the widespread use of eco-friendly prevention and control technologies among tea farmers.

Technological advancements have also revolutionized the processing of tea leaves. At the company’s plant, machines handle the entire process, from preservation to rolling and drying, based on precise input parameters such as temperature, humidity, and heating degrees.

“We use sieving technologies to grade tea leaves, boosting the efficiency of screening top-quality green tea leaves,” Zheng explained.

Last year, the company saw an annual output of 1,500 tonnes of processed tea leaves with an output value totaling 85 million yuan, with products exported to five Central Asian countries.

To strengthen the tea industry’s supply chain, Jinsha County has invited companies specializing in tea leaf processing machinery and organic fertilizer production to establish plants in the area. Guizhou Jinsanye Machinery Manufacturing Co. offers a comprehensive range of equipment for intelligent production lines, generating an annual output value exceeding 60 million yuan last year.

Currently, Jinsha is home to over 50 tea leaf processing enterprises, generating a total tea leaf output value of 1.55 billion yuan in 2023. At least 58,500 households engaged in tea cultivation saw an average increase in their family income by over 10,000 yuan, according to local authorities.

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