Forsythia becomes boon for business

2020年09月25日07:27  来源:山西日报

A worker takes forsythia leaves to baking machines at the herbal tea factory in Shanxi.ZHANG DAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A worker takes forsythia leaves to baking machines at the herbal tea factory in Shanxi.

In Yicheng county in the south of Shanxi province, local businesspeople and officials are happy to see a centuries-old industry relating to the medical herb of forsythia develop into an extended value chain covering traditional Chinese medicines, tea beverage and tourism.

Forsythia is a medical herb commonly seen in the north of China. It has been used for making medicines for thousands of years.

According to TCM experts, medicines using forsythia as ingredient can help people control their body temperature, clear away phlegm and improve their immunity.

Yicheng is one of the counties in Shanxi with a reputation for quality forsythia. People in the county have recently found that the value of forsythia is not limited to making medicines.

Yicheng Investment Group, a local company, recently launched a dozen forsythia tea products to meet market demand for health food.

"During a trade show held in Taiyuan on Aug 22, we debuted more than 10 varieties of forsythia tea into the market," said Wang Hongxing, executive director of the company."We received a good number of orders for the products for the expected sales surge during the National Day and Middle Autumn Festival holidays in October."

According to county officials, the local businesses' move to diversify the forsythia industry is also a response to the provincial authorities' plan to boost the development of the herbal tea industry, which includes the production of forsythia tea products.

"As Shanxi plans to develop the herbal tea sector into an economic pillar, I believe there is more growth potential for the industry in our county," said Wang Yuan, Party secretary of the county.

In past years, according to Wang, the county's farmers mostly collected forsythia from the wild and the growing area of forsythia was about 3,000 hectares.

"As demand from local herbal tea producers rises substantially, we plan to develop more than 1,400 hectares of artificial plantations for forsythia," Wang said.

The locals also view the forsythia plantations as a major attraction for tourists, when the beautiful flowers bloom between March and April.

Nanliang, the earliest township in Yicheng to develop artificial plantations for forsythia, is also a pioneer in developing herb-based sightseeing tours, Wang said.

Since 2017, the township has held forsythia-themed tourism events every year, attracting tens of thousands of visitors.

"We are planning to develop a theme park on forsythia in the county, highlighting activities including sightseeing, tea tasting and recreation," Wang said.

Guo Yanjie contributed to this story.