[Crayfish-Rice Double Cropping]
Date: April 26, 2017
Place: Zhaonao Village, Xiongkou Town, Qianjiang City Highlights: The 64-year-old farmer Ma Yulin sold 50 kilograms of crayfish he gathered to a regular customer and received one thousand yuan in exchange. He counted the cash twice and then slid it in his pocket.
As the peak season looms, Ma Yulin is busy gathering and selling crayfish. At the peak, he can earn 30 thousand yuan a day, which has made him an enviably rich man. In fact, before 2014, he was only an ordinary farmer who earned less than 10 thousand yuan a year. He has benefitted tremendously from the new crayfish-rice double cropping model promoted in Qianjiang City.
In 2014, in order to develop an economy for the villagers, the leaders of Zhaonao village cooperated with
Huashan Company and promoted the crayfish-rice double cropping model.
This model is the exclusive invention of Qianjiang City. The farmers dig a circular gutter with a width of four meters and the depth of 1.5 meters along the rand of the rice field. When it is time for rice transplanting, the baby crayfish are put into the gutter. When the seedlings are stronger, the crayfish are led back to the rice field. In this way, the crayfish can be gathered in May and September, forming the so-called
“One rice and two crayfish” yield.
The crayfish- rice continuous cropping model can produce about
200 kilograms of crayfish and can earn about 5000 yuan per acre. This method has reached the goal of elevating both the production and quality of crayfish.
“At the beginning, many farmers were not familiar with this model and refused to contract. The cadres and some brave farmers took 30 ponds.” The “ponds” mentioned by the secretary of the village Zhao Changhong refer to rice fields where rice and crayfish grow together. “One pond is about 40 acres. In the first year, the average profit of a pond was about 50 thousand yuan, which greatly aroused the interests of the farmers. Now there are more than 160 ponds and each can earn about 150-200 thousand yuan per year.”
According to the statistics, by April of 2017, the area used for crayfish breeding in Qianjiang City reached half a million acres. Nine breeding bases with more than 10 thousand acres and 50 breeding bases of one thousand acres have been built. The aggregate value of the crayfish industry chain has reached 18 billion yuan. There are two key agricultural enterprises involved: Laker Sea Food and Huashan Sea Food. In the last year, the volume of foreign exchange earned by exports in Qianjiang City has accounted for 60% of the provincial total and 40% of the national total of crayfish. Qianjiang City has ranked first among all cities for nine consecutive years and is the global leader in the crayfish industry.
While guaranteeing high production, the crayfish in Qianjiang City also maintains high quality.
“We should protect the brand of Qianjiang Crayfish, just as taking care of our eyes.” According to Lu Zhonghu, the chef engineer of the Qianjiang Bureau of Aquatic Products, in the production process, frequency- emitting pestkilling lamps are used instead of pesticides. Microbials and insects that grow on the rice work as the food for the crayfish and the excreta produced by the crayfish offers high-quality fertilizer for the rice. The straws after the harvest create the natural habitat for crayfish and the rotten straws enrich the soil’s fertility.
This statement can be proven by the amount of fertilizer that has been used in Zhaonao Village. In 2014, 210 tons of fertilizer were used. The figure declined in the following years: 140 tons in 2015, and just 70 tons in 2016.
In this complementary biological chain, the quality of the crayfish and rice are both elevated and the rice is organic rice that grows naturally. Only physical or biological means are used to prevent pests in the whole process, which reduces the usage of pesticides, fertilizers, and water. It not only helps to maintain the ecology and environment, but also guarantees food security. This process adheres to the requirements of the new times: reducing, replacing, controlling, and comprehensively using all resources possible.