Zhanjiang Special / News

Rural vitalization helps residents live better

China Daily |  Updated:2022-10-17

After years of cultivation, farmers in Buzheng Village, Zhanjiang city, finally found a new development pattern to boost the local agriculture by planting pitaya, or dragon fruit.

Local pitaya farmer Li Jianqing owns nearly 20 hectares of planting sheds. After doing business elsewhere for more than 20 years, he returned to the village in 2020 and invested 20 million yuan ($2.8 million) in his pitaya-planting project.

By the end of 2022, the yield of the base is expected to reach 22.5 metric tons per hectare.

The planting base not only generated a significant fortune for the villagers, but became a place for sightseeing and training.

It has attracted a number of villagers and brought them long-term employment. They learn skills at the planting base and earn monthly salaries.

The farmers in the village are now growing more than 266.7 hectares of pitaya fruit in total, with an annual output value of more than 80 million yuan.

Walking around the village, people see cars driving on clean and tidy roads, and trees and flowers planted in the surroundings of farmyards. Besides pitaya, villagers also plant agricultural products such as sugarcane and bananas.

The great change of Buzheng Village is an example of Zhanjiang's achievements after the city stepped up efforts to implement the rural vitalization strategy.

Liu Hongbing, Party secretary of Zhanjiang city, said that with a total planting area of more than 2,800 square kilometers of grain crops, Zhanjiang has attached great importance to the agricultural industry for a long time. Zhanjiang is accelerating the pace to build up a modern rural industrial system, promote the village construction, and make new achievements in its rural vitalization campaign.

In 2021, the city's total output value of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery reached 105.2 billion yuan, up 9.1 percent year-on-year.

The added value hit 65.9 billion yuan, up 7.8 percent year-on-year. The per capita disposable income of rural residents was 20,693 yuan, up 10.3 percent year-on-year.

The city has built 25 national-level and provincial-level modern agricultural industrial parks. The number ranks first in the province.

Signature product lineups have been expanded with lotus root, flowers, ginger and aquatic products. Other advantageous industries are improving their scale and industrialization.

The industrial parks have attracted more than 1,200 entrepreneurs back to rural areas and provided working opportunities for more than 87,500 farmers in the past few years. Combined, this has benefited more than 58,000 households.

Zhanjiang has made great efforts in recent years to develop an agricultural product processing industry, including the deep processing of tropical fruits and vegetables, aquatic products, livestock products, ready-made dishes, grains, oilseeds, sugar, animal feed and medicine.

Currently, customers' needs for ready-made dishes are rising significantly.

In response to the trend, Zhanjiang has established a ready-made dish industry alliance and supplementary industrial parks. "Wuchuan Roast Fish", "Zhanjiang Prawn", and "Naozhou Abalone "are among some famous brands.

Xuwen county aims to accelerate the construction of a modern market system for agricultural products.

Leveraging the operations of Suixi RCEP Agricultural Products (Banana) International Trading Center and Xuwen RCEP Pineapple International Procurement Trading Center, the city is planning more agricultural products trading centers to serve global partners.

The living environment in the city's rural regions has also improved significantly.

The city established sanitation and cleaning funds to support face-lift projects in villages and also set up garbage collection and transportation systems.

Zhanjiang has focused on building a beautiful countryside and developing rural tourism at the same time, giving full play to the villages' natural, cultural, industrial, green ecology and other advantages.

By promoting the integration of agriculture, culture and tourism, the rural areas have generated a new force to drive industrial development in Zhanjiang.

One village in the city has become a national key village for rural tourism; one county, three towns and 28 sites have been recommended as Guangdong's leisure agriculture and rural tourism demonstration areas. Fifteen villages have been recommended as Guangdong's featured villages of culture and tourism with 13 rural tourist routes available.

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