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Tea seed oil boosts farmers’ incomes by Sun Fang,April 08, 2020 Adjust font size:

Part of Yongzhou city, Hunan province, Daoxian county is located in a hilly region with a subtropical monsoon climate. The plentiful rainfall and abundant sunlight in the area make it a good place to grow tea oil trees.

Bajia is a village under the administration of the town of Xianglinpu in Daoxian with a population of more than 1,600 people living in 294 households. In 2019, a local tea oil cooperative helped 58 people in 15 impoverished households in the village escape from poverty, and Bajia became a "National Demonstration Village for Rural Governance" .

A cow grinds tea powder at the Zhongwang Tea Seed Oil Processing Facility in Bajia Village.

"Baijia was in debt when I began working there," an official named Zhu Yun explained. "Everything was difficult."

Tea seed oil, also known as camellia oil, has traditionally been Bajia’s main source of income. A fire almost wiped out all of its tea oil trees in 1995, however, and caused economic problems in the village.

Zhu Yun immediately spearheaded the planting of 80 ha’s worth of tea oil trees when his assignment began. He established a tea oil cooperative and traditional tea seed oil processing facility with the support of the local government and even spent more than five months locating traditional oil production equipment in several different provinces.

Employees of the Zhongwang Tea Seed Oil Processing Facility in Bajia use traditional methods to extract oil.

Tea seed oil made in a traditional manner features handmade flavor that is superior to the oil that comes from mechanized production. Demand often outstrips supply despite the fact that it generally costs three to five times more.

Twenty-six of the 99 households that are part of the tea oil tree cooperative in Bajia village are impoverished, including 11 that live in a neighboring village known as Mojiawan. These households each brought in less than 3,000 yuan (US$430) a year until recently. Their incomes have risen to 4,200 yuan (US$602) a year as a result of dividends that they receive from the cooperative.

The cooperative has also established a special assistance fund for impoverished households. Every year, an additional 18,800 yuan (US$2,694) is distributed to the 26 impoverished households.

Village officials visit impoverished families and elderly people who do not have any relatives on the eve of every Spring Festival as well and bring them necessities, such as rice and meat.

A local resident named Zhu Genhui fell into poverty in 2014 as a result of illness in his family and a lack of skills relevant to the area. He later became a member of the cooperative in Bajia, got a part-time job, and escaped from poverty in 2019. The Bajia native exclaimed, “I feel heartened that I can earn stable income without having to leave my village!”

An old couple in Bajia village wave goodbye to journalists.

A government official in Xianglinpu named He Haicui stated that 20 ha’s worth of flue-cured tobacco, 24 ha’s worth of oranges, and 93.3 ha’s worth of high-quality rice are also being grown in Bajia, which has increased annual revenue in the village by 2.65 million yuan (US$380,000).

Zhu Yun has recommended that an additional 40 ha’s worth of tea oil trees be planted in 2020 so that incomes can continue to increase incomes in the village and to promote stable poverty alleviation.






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