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Luocheng's impoverished residents become more prosperous via farming projects by Zhao Binyu,April 27, 2020 Adjust font size:


Qunfu Farmers Cooperative members examine silkworms’ growth at a cocoonery in Luocheng Mulam autonomous county, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. (Xinhua/Huang Haoming)

Spring is in the air and heavy fog floats through the mountains as April progresses in northern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Luocheng Mulam autonomous county’s residents have been busy laboring at factories that were built for poverty alleviation purposes and engaging in various farming endeavors in the Dashi mountains region. Luocheng’s residents and officials have been working hard to promote prosperity in the deeply impoverished county.

The mulberry bushes that the Qunfu Farmers Cooperative grows in Huaiqun town are becoming more and more vibrant. The cooperative’s members harvest mulberry leaves and feed them to silkworms at the cocooneries.

Huaiqun resident Luo Meiquan became a Qunfu member last year and currently earns about 3,000 yuan (US$425) a month. With this stable income the Luo’s family was able to escape from poverty last year.

Head of Qunfu Wei Duo mentioned that more than 1,500 residents from 296 impoverished households have become members of the cooperative and grow mulberries on 400 ha of land. The unification of their silkworm cocoon production efforts and quality management that has been implemented have made it possible for them to increase their profits.

Impoverished members of the Qunfu Farmers Cooperative pick mulberry leaves at a farm in Luocheng. (Xinhua/Huang Haoming)

In order to increase revenue, Qunfu has encouraged its members to plant new mulberry bushes that also yield fruit in addition to leaves that are used to feed silkworms. An impoverished farmer named Qin Aijuan planted 0.2 ha of mulberry bushes in 2019. She explained that 0.067 ha of the old mulberry bushes can be used to produce about 300 kg of silkworm cocoons and result in 12,000 yuan (US$1,703) of output value, but the new mulberry bushes can produce about 1,500 kg of fruit in addition to about 250 kg of silkworm cocoons and result in 16,000 yuan (US$2,270) of output value on the same amount of land, which is a 33.3 percent increase.

Wei Duo stated that the cooperative purchases the mulberries from its members and processes them into juice and wine, which have sold well so far. Twenty thousand bottles of wine were manufactured in a trial run in 2019, and all of them were purchased. Six million yuan (US$851,400) were invested in a processing facility this year in order to extend the segment of the industry chain that Qunfu operates in and make it possible for its members to make more profit.

Beef cattle farming has become another major industry in Luocheng in recent years. The Runzhicheng Environmentally Friendly Cattle Farming Cooperative in Banyang village, Naweng township recently sold 40 head of cattle.

Qin Zurun who takes charge of the Runzhicheng Environmentally Friendly Cattle Farming Cooperative in Luocheng is feeding cows. (Xinhua/Huang Haoming)

“Live cows sell for 33 yuan (US$4.68) per kg, so the 40 that we sold recently yielded 900,000 yuan (US$127,710), which is good revenue,” said Qin Zurun, head of the Runzhicheng Environmentally Friendly Cattle Farming Cooperative.

Qin established the cooperative with four other impoverished families in 2016. They bought 10 cows to start off with and have worked hard ever since. The cooperative now owns two cattle farms and currently has an inventory of 140 head.

“We were able to borrow 300,000 yuan (US$42,570) as a result of various poverty alleviation policies,” Qin explained. “The village also invested 400,000 yuan (US$56,760) into our cooperative. We have been able to raise more and more cattle and expect to have an inventory of 200 head this year.”

The cooperative has so far assisted 36 impoverished households in increasing their incomes through farming grass and cattle. This year, its members plan to increase the size of their cowsheds and build a new feed mill in order to expand the scale at which they operate.

The citrus sector is another one of Luocheng’s characteristic industries. Fengteng Fruit Cooperative has built cold storage facilities for their fruit and other products, which are then sorted, packed, loaded onto trucks, and transported to locations such as Shandong and Sichuan provinces and the city of Beijing.

According to Zhong Chengliang, head of the Fengteng Fruit Cooperative, the organization has adopted the business model of connecting related companies to farmers and farms and mostly grows citrus fruit. Relatively stable prices are achieved by limiting various agricultural residues and attaining other valuable indicators, and also by selling the fruit to large markets and supermarkets. The cooperative preserves its fruit in cold storage facilities when supply is high so they can be sold at later dates.

“The trade measures that we have implemented reduce the impact of market fluctuations and make it possible for us to guarantee the purchase of sweet oranges and mandarin oranges that our members grow,” Zhong stated.

Luocheng Party Secretary Lan Qizhang summarized the results of the efforts that have been made in the county over the last four years. He stated that about 82,000 of its residents are no longer impoverished and 63 of its villages have been removed from poverty lists. The incidence of poverty in the county has decreased from 28.47 percent to 2.21 percent.



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