[A Well-off China] Xinjiang's "Purple Economy" Helps People "Get Fancy" to Get Rich

  [Commentary] "China's hometown of lavender" Huocheng County, Yili, Xinjiang, has continuously developed a "purple economy" in recent years, allowing surrounding people to embark on a "fancy" way to get rich. The Shigong Village of Lucaogou Town in the county was once called "stone beach" because of the sand and stones and the barren land. Now, the purple flowers bloom on the "stone beach".

  Sun Yongcheng was the first farmer to grow lavender in the village, and was also a farmer who increased income by growing lavender. I used to live in an earthen house, and it leaks when it rains. The crops planted in the field are busy all year round, but it is difficult to support my family.

  [Same period] Sun Yongcheng, a lavender grower in Huocheng County, Xinjiang

  Our lavender was planted in 2015. We used to plant corn, soybeans, wheat, etc. Anyway, the previous income was not as good as this lavender.

  [Commentary] The reporter saw that the vegetable garden in his yard was neatly planned, and vegetables such as peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes were growing happily. The chicken coop in the corner of the courtyard is also divided into "guest bedrooms". In the semi-open part of the outside, seven or eight chickens are eating, and more than a dozen ducks are sleeping in the bedroom. Sun Yongcheng told reporters that the 62 acres of lavender planted had a revenue of more than 100,000 yuan last year.

  [Same period] Sun Yongcheng, a lavender grower in Huocheng County, Xinjiang

  Planting this lavender also brought us a lot of income. We are now in the harvest season, and then when it is mature, we will ask someone to harvest and boil the oil.

  [Commentary] After 2014, villagers in the village saw that lavender planting had two to three times the benefits of traditional crops, and they started planting. At present, the village has built 12,000 mu of lavender planting manor, accounting for 95% of the village's cultivated area. The once "stone beach" has now become a sea of ​​purple flowers.

  Planting lavender is just the first step in the “purple economy”. Lavender merchandise sales and lavender-driven tourism are emerging. The Princess Lavender Garden, about 20 kilometers away from the village, covers an area of ​​220 acres and is mainly engaged in the cultivation of lavender varieties, cultural tourism of lavender, and processing of lavender essential oil. Last year, the park received more than 460,000 visitors, and processed more than 20 tons of lavender essential oil, which has steadily driven the employment of more than 200 people from the surrounding villagers.

  Ding Yanmei in the same village also grows lavender in his own home. He works odd jobs nearby when he is free. Since joining the Wanhua Spice Professional Cooperative, his income has increased again. Entering the cooperative, the reporter saw that the workers were busy gathering flowers. Ding Yanmei told reporters that there will be a large order to be sold to all parts of the country this afternoon.

  [Same period] Ding Yanmei, Supervisor of Wanhua Spice Professional Cooperative

  This is the dried flowers that we sent from the farmers. They are bundled into bouquets and will be shipped this afternoon. Two hundred boxes of 10,000 (bouquets) will be sent to the mainland.

  [Explanation] At present, Huocheng County has planted more than 60,000 mu of lavender, which can produce more than 200 tons of lavender essential oil and more than 1,000 tons of dried lavender flowers each year, and can achieve an output value of about 1 billion yuan.

  [Same period] Ma Guojun, Deputy Director of Lavender (Spices) Industry Development Office, Huocheng County, Xinjiang

  First of all, we established the Lavender Association, formed this professional technical service team of lavender planting, strengthened the technical service and guidance to this lavender grower, held this online live broadcast event, and expanded the sales channels.

  【Explanation】It is understood that the Yili River Valley has grown into one of the four major lavender producing areas in the world, and is the main lavender producing area in China. Lavender production accounts for 97% of the country's total.

  Report by Zhao Yamin, Ma Mingyu, Huocheng County, Xinjiang

Editor in charge: [Li Ji]