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Anhui support a boon for rural vitalization

Pub Date:2023-06-06 08:58 Source:China Daily

Local governments open more channels to boost agriculture, farmers' incomes

Qiao Chuanjun, 52, relocated from Suzhou in northern Anhui province 16 years ago to Yu'an district of Lu'an in western Anhui to pursue his dream of a better life by planting peach trees. He is now the owner of Chuanjun Planting and Cultivation Family Farm.

With his wife, their daughter and son-in-law, another of his relatives and himself, Qiao's family farm of five rents 960 mu (64 hectares) of land from some 200 local farmers to plant over 20 types of peach trees — he made his dream come true.

"Since May 30, I've sold some 300,000 yuan ($42,200) in the past few days, and am expecting an annual income of 3 million yuan," he said, pointing to his trees growing on the low hills around him.

"I earn money through appropriately scaled agricultural operations," Qiao noted, adding that since October 2021, he has spent some 5 million yuan in leveling the soil and planting new varieties of peaches.

"I focus on gem products — the cash-cow peaches," he said, noting that his peaches are mainly sold to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

Currently, East China's Anhui province is utilizing all channels to enrich farmers' incomes in its drive for rural vitalization. Encouraging scaled agricultural operations is one of them.

Large-scale agriculture

In Taihe county in Fuyang, northwestern Anhui, Xu Congxiang owns a 1,230-mu agricultural science and technology park.

With an R&D building and over 10 units of large mechanical equipment, his park produced 820,000 kilograms of wheat in 2022.

Xu now owns some 20 key technologies for planting high-yield wheat through scaled agricultural operations.

With an aim of "producing more grain and producing good grain", Taihe is pushing for scaled agricultural operations, planting 2.96 million mu of grain this year and expecting production to hit over 1 million metric tons.

To increase grain production, Anhui planted over 100 million mu of grain this year and is expecting a total yield of more than 82 billion kg of grain.

Herbal medicine

As an herbal medicine and agricultural produce, shihu, or the stems of dendrobium nobile, which grows in harsh mountainous environments, is considered the first grass of nine Chinese "immortal "herbs and a priceless treasure, bringing health benefits to users who eat the stems or flowers.

Growing huoshan shihu in Huoshan county of southwestern Lu'an is part of "rural industries with local features". Lu'an, in the renowned Babie Mountains, is dubbed a "medicine storehouse".

Located in the Lu'an National Economic Development Zone, Jiuxianzun Huoshan Shihu Co Ltd was the earliest high-tech enterprise engaged in developing the entire shihu industry chain in Anhui, enriching the incomes of local farmers.

The company owns a 500-mu shihu industrial park in Huoshan, a 500-mu original species protection base in Huoshan's Taipingban township, a 1,000-mu GAP, or Good Agricultural Practices, domestication base in Heishidu township and a 10,000-mu shihu health valley under construction in Taiyang township, for the deep processing of the "first grass".

According to the Anhui Provincial Medical Products Administration, the province has 3,578 types of traditional Chinese medicine, ranking sixth in the country, and encourages local farmers to plant over 127,000 mu of such agricultural produce to boost rural industries with local features.

Value-added business

Funan county, with 1.74 million residents in southern Fuyang, is known as "the capital of China's wickerwork". The local government encourages farmers in its 28 townships to develop wickerwork weaved with leaves of cattail, willow and mulberry strips, which is considered a value-added business.

Located along the Huaihe River, the county has abundant resources, said Zhang Lei, the county's publicity chief, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Funan County Committee.

In the county's Huanggang township, there are 36 wickerwork enterprises. At Huanggang's Yangzhai village, every home runs a wickerwork business and can earn up to 60,000 yuan each year from this cottage industry, he said.

Currently, Funan can produce over 10,000 wickerwork varieties, which are craft products with both ornamental and practical values, and are sold both at home and abroad.

These value-added businesses are a boon to local farmers, Zhang said.

One product per village

With over 61 million residents living in 104 county-level areas administering various townships formed with various villages, Anhui is also trying to form a model of "one product for each village, one industry for each township and one specialty for each county", in a bid to increase farmers' incomes.

In Linfei village, Guqiao township under Fengtai county, Liu Jiying is supporting his family of five by raising cattle.

Seven years ago, Liu's wife suffered from leukemia. Her treatment cost the family savings, making the household finances very tight.

In January 2018, the township encouraged Liu to take part in a breeding training course organized by the county and master the skills of cattle farming. Four months later, the township government also helped him apply for an interest-free loan of 40,000 yuan.

Together with self-raised funds of 100,000 yuan, Liu bought 10 yellow cattle, which have grown in number, surpassing 40.

In 2019, he sold 15 bulls and kept all the cows, earning an annual income of over 200,000 yuan, repaying all his debt and easing the family's life.

His wife received a successful bone marrow transplant and fully recovered from leukemia, while their two children also got married.

"I thanked the government for introducing the 'one product per village' policy, which helped me in regaining a good life," Liu said.

"The most challenging and arduous tasks in building a modern socialist China in all respects remain in rural areas," said agricultural expert Zhang Jian, adding that "for Anhui as a whole, in advancing rural vitalization across the board, it is vital to bolstering the revitalization of businesses, talent, culture and ecosystems to increase the farmers' incomes".

Editor:Zheng Chen

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