Jiangmen City Heng Sheng Tai Agriculture Development Co. Ltd. (JHST), formed in 2009, is a 75% owned subsidiary of Sino Agro Food, Inc. (as of June 30, 2013). The Company operates a 490-acre Hylocereus Undatus (HU) flower plantation, (i) growing and selling HU flowers, and (ii) drying and value added processing and selling of HU flower products. HU, also known as Dragon Fruit, is popular in China for its flowers, which offer many outstanding medicinal benefits. Traditional Chinese medicine places a high value properly processed HU flowers, which are consumed in food, soups, and teas. These flowers only grow in certain areas of China. Before 2003, the main supply of HU flowers was from 50,000 acres of plantations in Guangdong Province. Since then, industrialization has reduced the plantation acreage to fewer than 4,000 acres.
In 2013, the Company planted a special Chinese herb (called XueYingZi and commonly referred to as “Immortal Vegetable” in China), which is rich in selenium, among the HU Plants. Although we expected these Immortal Vegetables to help prolong the shelf life of the fresh HU flowers from 2-3 days up to 12-14 days, this was not achieved, and we continue to search for the optimal synergistic plants to farm along with the HU.
With respect to the Immortal Vegetables grown as trials over the (30 Mu field), we harvested over 200 MT of crops (including roots) during this quarter, averaging about 6.7 MT / Mu from the density of about 1,700 plants / Mu. These yields are within our estimates. Our organic Immortal Vegetable plants have many properties that tend to induce good health. Packaged attractively with leaves for tea, and stems for soup, our Immortal Vegetables are a popular health food item, sold in stores around the province.