Coffee industry nourishes township in SE China’s Fujian Province

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By Lin Jianwu, People’s Daily Overseas Edition

Nanjing is a county located in the mountains in southern Fujian Province of China. It is home to a good number of Tulou, a property of 46 buildings constructed between the 15th and 20th centuries listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.

In Nankeng township, just 8 kilometers from the county town, sits a coffee-themed ecological and sightseeing park, which has been making huge contribution to expanding income for local communities.

“Nankeng is an ideal place for coffee plantation with its sound environment and humid climate,” said Huang Wenguag, founder of the park. According to Huang, the park, which occupies an area of nearly 11.67 hectares of land, was constructed in 2007 and houses over 10,000 coffee plants. It has grown into a complex that not only grows and processes coffee, but also offers tour services, Huang said.

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It has tens of sections, including indoor and outdoor cafes, a coffee exhibition hall, coffee workshops, and sightseeing lanes. It is the first coffee-themed sightseeing park and museum in Fujian Province.

The coffee exhibition hall introduces the distribution, production, making and markets of coffee, where visitors can not only learn the history, culture and techniques of coffee, but also take a sip of the drink brewed by themselves.

Tulou were built during the Song (960-1127) and Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasties. Most of them are located in Yongding District of Longyan, as well as Nanjing and Hua’an Counties of Zhangzhou, an were erected built by the Hakka people who migrated to Fujian.

This unique type of civil building adopted the traditional “fengshui” philosophy of China, also known as Chinese geomancy, and served as both residence and defense.In 2008, Tulou were officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage, and have been visited by huge numbers of domestic and foreign tourists ever since.

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The rising tourist volume brought unprecedented opportunities for Nankeng Township, a place unavoidable on the paths leading to Tulou, and the best “stage station” for tourists. In order to attract more visitors, local authorities launched a series of development activities, including the introduction of coffee from Taiwan.

Nowadays, the coffee-themed park is embracing huge inflows of tourists every weekend who go there to have a taste of the coffee and also enjoy the experience of coffee-making, such as the selecting, baking, grinding and brewing of coffee.

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Wu Dongzhao, Party chief of Nankeng Township introduced that a series of peripheral products, such as coffee biscuits, canned coffee and coffee soaps, would be developed, so as to build Nankeng into a featured town of coffee products and make coffee a strong local industry that both drives tourism development and expands income for local residents.

At present, nearly 100 mu (6.67 hectares) of coffee plants have been grown by farmers in Nankeng and Nangao villages of the township, and each mu is expected to increase income by around 10,000 yuan ($1,538).

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