- MEDIA CENTER
During the picking season, Ziyun's blueberry gardens provide abundant job opportunities for locals. [Photo/ddcpc website]
In Ziyun county of Anshun city in Southwest China's Guizhou province, the planting area for blueberries has exceeded 10,000 mu (666.67 hectares) to become a major cash cow for local villagers.
With the integration of its primary, secondary and tertiary industries, Ziyun has introduced the deep processing of blueberries to enhance the conversion rate of agricultural products, improve brand competitiveness, and boost the efficient growth of rural tourism.
Dongkou village is located in the northeast mountainous area of Ziyun, where transportation used to be inconvenient and water conditions were poor, leading to many young people seeking employment outside of the village.
"Before 2014, most of the 4,000 mu of slope land in our village had been abandoned for a long time. Nobody could have imagined that it would now be full of blueberry trees bearing fruit," recalled Wu Yingchao, Party secretary of Dongkou.
Blueberries have become a main revenue source for locals in Ziyun county. [Photo/ddcpc website]
In 2014, Dongkou introduced Guizhou Yibo Trading Co to plant 200 hectares of blueberry trees there, which yielded abundant fruit two years later.
In 2016, Bailing Ecological Blueberry Company in Dongkou leased over 6,000 mu of land from villagers at prices ranging from 50 yuan to 200 yuan ($7-28) per mu per year, and developed blueberry planting on a large scale.
Weeding, pruning branches, fertilizing, and picking are all labor-intensive activities in the blueberry garden. During the picking season, more than 200 people pick blueberries in the garden every day.
Nowadays, with a 68.63 percent forest coverage rate, Ziyun is integrating agriculture with tourism to give full play to its ecological environment.