On March 3, 2023, 35 tons of pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed kernels from Beitun City, northwest China’s Xinjiang, headed for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by sea after its arrival at the Tianjin Port via trucks, marking the first time of Xinjiang’s pumpkin seeds being exported to the UAE.
Beitun City, known as "the hometown of China's edible sunflower", has a sunshine of up to 17 hours in summer. Sunflower seeds that grow from fertile soils such as brown-calcium soil and meadow soil often found at the confluence of the Irtysh River and the Ulungu River have become a shining business card of Beitun City.
With the further promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative, Beitun sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds have successively opened up the markets of more than ten countries in Europe and South Asia, and gradually gained international popularity.
According to statistics, Altay Customs supervised a total of 10,700 tons of exported agricultural products in 2022, with a total value of 30.048 million US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 13.1%, of which pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed kernels accounted for 20.8%.
Xinjiang Chenqi Agricultural Development Co., Ltd., owning an organic planting base of 20,000 mu, is a local company specializing in producing, processing and exporting pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, grains and bean products, among which its shell-less pumpkin seeds are well-known as an independent brand, occupying 30% of the local market share.
“This is the first time that the seeds produced by the company have been exported to the UAE, and the customs has given us a lot of support. They set up a ‘green channel’, and quickly handled the procedures such as inspection and quarantine certificates and electronic ledgers throughout the process, helping us open up more international markets,” Xia Jin, the head of the company, said.
In order to help the smooth export of Xinjiang's characteristic agricultural products, Altay Customs optimizes the pre-declaration supervision services for agricultural products based on the classification of export enterprises and product risk classification, guides enterprises to establish and improve product quality and safety management systems, and does a good job in tracing information throughout the process to strictly control product quality.
“Strengthen communication and coordination between various departments, shorten the time for sampling and sending samples for inspection, and issue quality, plant quarantine and other certificates as soon as possible, so as to assist rapid export of enterprises.” Li Fushan, member of the Party committee and deputy director of Altay Customs, said that in the next step, they would continue to increase support for the export of local characteristic agricultural products and help more Xinjiang local characteristics and high-quality agricultural products to enter more international markets.