Master’s grad finds pas­sion in poul­try farm

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By FENG ZHIWEI in Chang­sha fengzhi­wei@chi­

Hav­ing stud­ied for six years in Rus­sia, Gong Guanghui did not fol­low his fam­ily’s wishes and find a job in fi­nance. In­stead, he re­turned to his home vil­lage to fol­low in his fa­ther’s foot­steps, and has run a chicken farm for the past eight years.

Born in 1981 in Hu­nan prov­ince’s Feng­ping town, Gong went to Rus­sia for un­der­grad­u­ate study in 2003, af­ter which he ob­tained a master’s de­gree in eco­nom­ics and man­age­ment from St. Petersburg State Univer­sity of Eco­nom­ics in 2009.

Upon re­turn­ing to China, he in­tended to work for a State-owned en­ter­prise in Guang­dong prov­ince. How­ever, shortly af­ter ar­riv­ing in Guang­dong, he vis­ited a large-scale chicken farm with modern equip­ment be­long­ing to Guang­dong Wens Food­stuffs Group, and it oc­curred to him that chicken breed­ing was a po­ten­tially prof­itable business.

Af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, he de­cided to re­turn to his home­town to set up his own chicken farm.

“It was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to make. Some of my rel­a­tives said my fam­ily had spent so much money sup­port­ing my stud­ies that I should fol­low their wishes,” Gong re­called.

As an an­cient Chi­nese say­ing goes, ev­ery­thing is hard to start with, and Gong soon found this to be true. A lack of cap­i­tal and an in­com­plete ap­pli­ca­tion process meant his ex­pan­sion plans for his fam­ily’s chicken farm could not be im­ple­mented.

The local govern­ment then said Gong’s farm would need to be de­mol­ished due to the con­struc­tion of a high­way. How­ever, this was a bless­ing in dis­guise, and Gong rec­og­nized the op­por­tu­nity to solve his prob­lems of in­ad­e­quate cap­i­tal and a com­plex ap­pli­ca­tion process.

Gong was granted a sim­pli­fied ap­pli­ca­tion process and ob­tained com­pen­sa­tion from the govern­ment as well as loans from local credit unions, which paid for world-class chicken farm­ing equip­ment from Germany.

Gong also im­ple­mented an ad­vanced en­ter­prise man­age­ment sys­tem, cov­er­ing health and epi­demic pre­ven­tion, im­mu­niza­tion, pro­duc­tion of breed­ing hens and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with clients via the in­ter­net.

The scale of his chicken farm ex­panded rapidly af­ter the im­ple­men­ta­tion of his com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment strat­egy in 2010.

Gong said his op­er­a­tional ideas came from his vis­its to foreign farms. For ex­am­ple, dur­ing his time study­ing over­seas, he vis­ited a Ger­man farm with a re­fined man­age­ment sys­tem.

He has stuck to a con­cept of large-scale de­vel­op­ment, au­toma­tion and cor­po­ra­ti­za­tion in re­la­tion to over­seas ac­qui­si­tion.

Gong said op­er­at­ing in­come last year to­taled more than 60 mil­lion yuan ($8.79 mil­lion), with profit of nearly 14 mil­lion yuan, com­pared with the profit of about 100,000 to 200,000 yuan in his fa­ther’s time.

He said his com­pany’s prod­ucts are much bet­ter than that of its peers due to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of com­pet­i­tive dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion.

“Our prod­ucts are bet­ter than our peers’ in re­la­tion to health and vac­ci­na­tion. Even in the face of se­ri­ous is­sues such as bird flu, we have a bet­ter abil­ity to re­duce risk,” he said.

Gong is seek­ing to ex­tend the pro­duc­tion chain to in­crease prof­its. For ex­am­ple, his com­pany can earn up to 700,000 yuan a year by sell­ing chicken drop­pings to or­ganic fer­til­izer plants or fruit and veg­etable grow­ers in­stead of treat­ing it as waste.

Gong added that his com­pany is tak­ing tar­geted mea­sures in poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, such as co­op­er­at­ing with local farm­ers by utiliz­ing a “com­pany-base-farmer” model of agri­cul­tural in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, which has helped bring prof­its to 3,000 house­holds.

Re­gard­ing a long-term plan, Gong said there is po­ten­tial for sig­nif­i­cant growth in the scale of his chicken farm if govern­ment poli­cies sup­port the fi­nanc­ing of such de­vel­op­ment.

Jiang Chen­g­long contributed to this story.

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