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3 August, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 August, 2018 09:09:23 PM
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Farmers increase income by planting almond mushrooms

BY LI SHUFENG
Farmers increase income by planting almond mushrooms
Checking the growth of almond mushrooms. Photo by Li Shufen

In Mengzi County, Yunnan Province, the mountain village of Shitouzhai contains 54 households. Here, the per capita arable land is just five mu (0.33 hectares). In the past, villagers planted ginger, taro, ginseng and cabbage in an attempt to develop an sustainable agricultural economy.

For a period of time, the cabbage planting area accounted for nearly half of the arable land in the village, and some villagers even built refrigeration houses in which to store their goods. But as other places began to grow cabbage in greenhouses, the village lost its market advantages and never recovered from the setback.

 “If your production is not market-oriented, you won’t be able to resist risks. Once a natural disaster hits or the price plummets, all your efforts can be wasted. You may even lose money,” said Liu Qiying, director of the Village Supervision Committee.

After learning that the market has a great demand for almond mushrooms, the village Party secretary, Wan Yuanhua, took a group of locals to visit the Fuyuan Edible Fungus Company for a field survey.

 “With one greenhouse, you can harvest six crops in a year. The output will be no less than six tonnes, and the income will be no less than 50,000 yuan. It is really cost-effective.” The introduction of the farm made Wan Yuanhua excited.

“Our company provides technical assistance. And we also provide financial support to cover part of the cost of building new greenhouses. We will purchase almond mushrooms from the villagers for at least eight yuan per kilogram,” You Wanteng, general manager of Fuyuan Edible Fungus Company, told Wan Yuanhua.

Soon, a model of “Party branch + company + production base + farmers + financial support” was established. Each poor household received an interest-free loan of 50,000 yuan, and the company also invested in greenhouses. Thus, funding was secured.17 households in the village, including seven poor ones, built 37 greenhouses on 40 mu (2.67 hectares) of the area’s best arable land. The company built a drying plant beside the farm and involved the villagers in its development. In this way, the company and the villagers can share the benefits, with the villagers receiving the largest share of the profits.

“In the past, we couldn’t define the market and didn’t have any technology or funding. Even if we had wanted to achieve something, we could only idle away the time,” said Zhou Weichun, a poor villager. “Now our almond mushroomsflourish, and my whole family is kept busy.”

For Wan Yuanhua, all parties should join hands in poverty alleviation. Villagers must connect with the market, while the grassroots government should strengthen cooperation with companies and large growers that can provide market information. When agricultural products find their sales channels, farmers will soon become rich. 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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