China-Peru Ties: Peru Honor Day at the International Horticultural Expo in Beijing
Updated 14:51, 02-Sep-2019
The International Horticultural Exhibition continues here in Beijing, and Sunday was the turn of Peru to showcase the biodiversity of its crops, and why they're making such an impact on the Chinese market. The country's vice president was even there to oversee proceedings. CGTN'S Lu Sirui has more from Peru Honor Day.
It was a day to celebrate one of the world's most important staple crops in Beijing Yanqing district, where the pavilion for Peru's International Potato Center was center stage.
And it proved to be a real treat for the lucky few who entered.
VISITOR "I came over when I heard the music and thought the dancing here was particularly interesting. I also got this milkshake which tastes so good. I used to think that potatoes were very common food, and I didn't know so much about them until I took part in this activity."
Peru has a deep and proud history with the potato. It has founded a special research center -- the International Potato Center -- which looks into the exact science behind the crop.
This expertise has enabled it to work with China. Indeed around a quarter of the land dedicated to potato cultivation in China today is planted with varieties from the center.
Their collaboration has generated around 4 billion US dollars over the past 20 years.
MERCEDES ARAOZ FERNANDEZ VICE PRESIDENT OF PERU "Peru is the origin of the potato. We have more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes in the world. The other side of the story is, China is the main producer of the potato in the world. We can be like brothers, working together to produce food for the world."
And their cooperation has far-reaching benefits. One area in southwest China's Yunnan province has been able to alleviate its problems with poverty by using techniques shared by the center.
LU PENGQI, DEPUTY DIRECTOR CHINA COUNCIL FOR THE PROMOTION OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE "The potato links China and Peru more closely, in the fields of agriculture, research and development, and culture. As we are here today, it's a testament to the outcome of cooperation between our two countries."
But it's not just potatoes. Official says Peruvian foods like quinoa and other nuts are becoming increasingly popular in the Chinese market. Lu Sirui, CGTN, BEIJING.