The Kiwifruit Industry and Kiwifruit Production in Western Húnán

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Abstract

This article is about kiwifruit production in the north-western part of Húnán province in central China. It provides an overview of the kiwifruit industry in China and traces the development of kiwifruit production in this specific region. It presents the results of a case study conducted at Jíshǒu University in Xiǎngxī Tǔjīa and Miáo Autonomous Prefecture. Situated in a poor and economically underdeveloped area, the university concentrates on local minorities and the development of the region. It has initiated many projects to help in lifting poverty, one of them being the Kiwifruit Project, which encourages local farmers to get actively involved in kiwifruit production and processing. The paper highlights the cooperation between the academic institution, an industrial partner and government agencies in this endeavour. It addresses the problems and challenges that the establishment of a kiwifruit industry in Xiǎngxī has faced over a run of more than two decades, shows solutions based on innovation as in the form of developing new breeds or the introduction of organic farming, and evaluates the socioeconomic as well as the ecological impact the project has had on the local society and environment.

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