Across China: Thriving agriculture injects vitality into county in Guangxi-Xinhua

Across China: Thriving agriculture injects vitality into county in Guangxi

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-30 09:35:45

A worker removes Pachira aquatica leaves in a greenhouse at a Pachira aquatica industry demonstration zone of Hepu County in Beihai City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, March 19, 2024. (Xinhua/Chen Luyuan)

NANNING, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Among piles of seedlings, several villagers in Hepu County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, are braiding the stems of young Pachira aquatica, dubbed the money tree, skillfully forming them into attractive shapes.

"My father taught me this technique back when I was a kid; now I can finish one piece in ten more seconds and earn over 300 yuan (about 42 U.S. dollars) per day," said Wu Zuoye, a "post-90s" resident of Dazhuangjiang Village in Hepu.

"The braiding season can last for eight months a year and for the rest of the time I can also help with seedling and pruning to make more money," Wu added.

In Hepu, Dazhuangjiang village is a well-known "affluent village." "People from our village don't have to leave their hometown to seek jobs, as we have the money tree planting business," said Zhang Baoyu, the Party secretary of the village.

Almost all families living in Dazhuangjiang now cultivate Pachira aquatica. By the end of 2023, the village boasted 4,800 mu (320 hectares) of planting area for the trees, with an annual output value exceeding 100 million yuan, according to Zhang.

Money tree planting offers a glimpse into the progress of Hepu's agricultural development. Based on its hilly and coastal terrain, Hepu County has been developing rural industries with distinctive local features in recent years.

At a demonstration base for sea duck farming in Qunzhu Village in Hepu, thousands of ducks are raised for eggs.

When the sea rises, the tide carries small fish and shrimp. In a short time, they are diverted to some two dozen ponds on the waterfront via modernized ecological waterways and become a meal for the sea ducks.

"For us, the duck eggs are 'golden eggs'," said Zhong Shengqing, an employee of the base. The eggs will then be transported to a workshop in the county after collection.

After pickling, baking and packaging, the eggs will become a well-known local specialty, pickled sea duck eggs.

The base was built jointly by the Qunzhu Village and a food processing company called Hetianbaolong. It not only benefits the villagers but also the wider sea duck egg business.

"In the past, we used to purchase duck eggs directly from villagers for manufacturing," said Long Haijun, an executive from Hetianbaolong. However, the varying quality and limited quantity of the eggs made it difficult for the company to operate.

Now with the base, we can get high-quality sea duck eggs every day to maintain operational stability, said Long.

Besides the sea duck egg business, Hepu County has strived to develop its marine economy by promoting aquaculture such as fish farming. In 2023, the total amount of aquatic products in Hepu County reached 509,400 tonnes, an increase of 3.54 percent year on year.

Through support for rural industrial projects and talents, Hepu has upgraded its agricultural industry and provided more job opportunities for its residents, said Pan Xiaowen, director of the bureau of agriculture and rural affairs in Hepu.

This undated drone photo shows the demonstration base for sea duck farming in Qunzhu Village of Hepu County, Beihai City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Zhang Zhuowen)