Changyang enters alpine vegetable harvest season

2024-07-07 21:07:54
By Tan Maolin, Yichang Three Gorges International Communication Studio
Photographer: Lin Jiwei

The alpine vegetables are ready for harvest in Changyang Tujia Autonomous County. In Huoshaoping, at an average altitude of 1,800 meters, farmers are busy picking, selecting and packaging their harvest for sale outside of town.

Cabbages at Huoshaoping alpine vegetable base in Huoshaoping Town.

Well known as the home of alpine vegetable cultivation, the town has built sophisticated supporting facilities for the alpine vegetable industry, such as smart greenhouses and seedling bases with advanced control systems.

"We operate under the model of leading enterprises + farmers’ cooperatives + vegetable bases," said Zeng Linggang, head of Daqingjiang Economic and Technological Development Co., Ltd. He explained that leading enterprises buy vegetables from cooperative members at a reasonable and protected price to ensure a stable incomes for farmers, while cooperatives set quality standards to which farmers are organized to follow.

Farmers harvesting vegetables in Hejiaping Town.
"We just completed a 200-ton order of white radish from Dongguan Qingjiang Vegetable Company," Zeng said. Due to both the higher quality and limited supply, alpine vegetables in Huoshaoping are sold at a price 10-15 percent higher than other comparable markets. Alpine vegetables have become a pillar industry for farmers in the area looking to increase their income.

Wu Junhua, a villager of Huoshaoping town, made more than 200,000 yuan (US$28,090) last year from his 60 mu (4 hectares) of land by planting cabbage and radish. This year, he set up greenhouses to grow more expensive commercial vegetables, such as peppers and eggplants, raising his income from 3,500 yuan per mu (52,500 yuan per hectare) to 4,000 yuan per mu, increasing his overall income by about 30,000 yuan.

Vegetable farmers picking and packing vegetables in Hejiaping Town.
In Qinggangping village, at an altitude of 1,000 meters, cabbage and radish are also being harvested. In the past, due to a lack of roads, outside traders stopped purchasing local cabbages and radishes. After the town’s roads were reconstructed, the vegetable industry experienced a boom.

Deng Jirong, head of the Changyang Junrong Vegetable Planting Specialized Cooperative, said: "Now the transportation is convenient. Our alpine vegetables can reach supermarkets and dining tables thousands of miles away in a day via the Shanghai and Chongqing Expressway and Yichang-Wanzhou Railway."

Alpine vegetable base in Wenjiaping Village, Langping Town.
Wenjiaping village in Langping town, another production area for alpine vegetables, is home to 27 specialized vegetable cooperatives serving a total of 3,000 local farmers.

Qin Yehuang, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of Langping Town, said: "There is still more than a month to go before the greenhouse tomatoes ripen." Wenjiaping grows 11,000 mu of tomatoes, which can harvest up to 66 million kilograms of fruit. “This year, we have cooperated with Chongqing Yushu Agricultural Development Co., Ltd. to build a factory that produces processed tomato products, such as high-quality tomato crisps (dried fruits), tomato nutritional powder and tomato seasoning,” said Qin. "The factory is expected to process 400,000 kilograms of tomato crisps (dried fruit), 50,000 kilograms of tomato nutrient powder, and 100,000 kilograms of tomato seasoning after it is completed in August. We expect that this will bring a significant boost in profit for vegetable farmers in the area."

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