The lush grape helps yield progress for Sandu county’s poor
To lift more local residents out of poverty, Sandu Sui autonomous county in the south of Guizhou province has fully utilized its natural resources and focused on six sectors — including grape and tea cultivation — to boost economic growth.
Grape production has become a major industry and the vineyards provide lush and spectacular scenery in Qianjin village in Sandu.
One grower surnamed Wang said the weather has been good this season and he expects to have a net income of more than 200,000 yuan ($30,300) this year. Wang’s family owns 2.67 hectares of grapes.
By using advanced planting technology, the yield and quality had improved a great deal when compared with last year, Wang said.
The grower said he employs several neighboring families, who currently live below the poverty line, to take care of daily management and harvesting of the fruit, to help increase their incomes.
This year, the grape planting area in Sandu extended to 9,067 hectares. The county authorities said they expect a yield of 97,500 metric tons in total and total revenue worth about 310 million yuan from the industry in 2017.
The local variety of crystalline grapes are known for their disease-resistance and succulent taste, so they are popular, officials from Sandu said.
They added that the produce is mainly sold to other counties and cities in Guizhou, as well as the neighboring provinces of Sichuan, Hunan, Yunnan and Guangdong, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
The county hosted a grape festival on August 11 to promote the local crystalline grape industry.
In addition, the county has built an industrial grape park, a grape trade center and several cooperatives over the past few years.
The county government has provided training for farmers, giving them access to modern operational concepts and management skills.
The scale of the local grape production has increased year by year and the sector has become a pillar industry, in the process greatly contributing to poverty alleviation in Sandu.
Sandu is one of the 14 very poor counties in Guizhou. Of its 390,000 population, some 59,800 are classified as impoverished. Pig raising
Residents in Sandu have also developed pig and pigeon-raising industries, as well as the production of tea, yellow peaches and edible mushrooms, to help the impoverished population improve their lives.
A pig farming center was recently completed in Shangjiang village in Sandu in early 2016. With a total investment of about 847,000 yuan, it comprises piggeries with a total area of 1,500 squares meters and supporting facilities such as septic tanks and sterilization rooms.
Local households offer up their pigs to become shareholders of the center and share in the profits.
Each family is expected to have an annual income of about 10,000 yuan on average and some of them have found jobs in the center.
Even though the first pigs in the center are not yet fully grown for slaughter, the farming center has already received many orders.
The village plans to expand the center and help all the 88 impoverished households there to become more affluent. Tea production
Tea is another sector that the Sandu government is expanding to help with poverty alleviation.
A white tea center in Jiuqian township has a planting area covering 2,000 hectares and also has facilities for tea making. The white tea sector not only “greens” the hills in Jiuqian, but also increases income for local people, the town’s officials said.
The Sandu county government has enhanced its support for the tea industry in recent years and provided more technical training, to encourage local residents to increase their incomes by planting tea.
Last year, tea farms in the county covered a total area of 8,300 hectares and they have engaged more than 23,000 farmers in tea planting.
A local official said the yield of dried tea in Sandu reached 1,310 tons in 2016 and revenue amounted to 170 million yuan. A total of 95,000 people directly benefited from the tea industry last year. Yellow peaches
As for the yellow peach industry, the county has invested 14 million yuan in strengthening its development.
The local authorities have guided residents to plant 2,160 hectares of yellow peach trees, with 9,269 households now engaged in the industry, according to local officials.
They said the county plans to have a total peach tree planting area of 7,701 hectares and the industry is expected to help lift 35,437 people out of poverty by 2020.
It also plans to build several peach industry parks with functions allocated for production, processing, sales, breeding and agricultural sightseeing, officials said.
A good harvest of tangerines is set to greatly help farmers in Sandu to increase their incomes this year.
A vineyard in Shandu is now connected by newly built roads.
A farmer takes care of mushrooms in her greenhouse.