(Chinese Poverty Reduction Story) Little Strawberry Becomes Big Engine: The "Code" for Getting Rich in Donggang, a small border city between China and North Korea
China News Service, Dandong, August 4th. Title: Little Strawberry Becomes Big Engine: The "Password" for Getting Rich in Donggang, a small border city between China and North Korea
Author Dai Menglan Li Xi Gongxu
"It's addictive to grow strawberries to make money. I can't stop it!" It was Cai Yougui, a strawberry grower in Majiagang Village, Donggang City, Dandong City, Liaoning Province, a small town on the border between China and North Korea and the "first strawberry county in China".
Cai Yougui smiled and introduced to a reporter from China News Agency that now he grows strawberries, plus his own strawberry packaging workshop, earns a net income of 2 million yuan (RMB, the same below) a year. "Our village now has an atmosphere of comparison. What to compare? More than wealth, more industrious."
Located at the estuary of the Yalu River on the border between China and North Korea, Donggang City is bordered by the Yellow Sea to the south. The humid ocean currents and the cold southward converge here, creating a unique climate suitable for strawberry growth. In the 1990s, the Donggang strawberry industry was still in a small-scale, family-style production and operation state, basically relying on household market stalls. The city's annual strawberry cultivation area is only more than 20,000 mu, with a total output of more than 50,000 tons, and the total output value is only about 300 million yuan.
In recent years, through policy guidance, financial support and scientific planting, the local strawberry industry has become a leading industry for local farmers to increase their incomes and become an important support for the county economy. In 2019, the strawberry production area in Donggang City reached 148,000 mu, with a total output of 230,000 tons, an output value of 4.6 billion yuan, and an annual export earnings of about 35 million US dollars. At the 2nd International Strawberry Brand Conference held that year, selected by experts, the brand value of "Donggang Strawberry" reached 7.75 billion yuan, ranking first among all strawberry producing areas in China, and Donggang became the veritable "No. 1 Strawberry County in China" ".
Local officials told reporters that in Donggang City, with a population of about 600,000, there are now nearly 100,000 farmers, more than 2,000 brokers and hundreds of companies engaged in strawberry production, processing and commerce. The "small strawberry" has become a driving force for the employment of Donggang people. The "big engine" for revenue growth.
"The government's strawberry experts are very kind to us. We have problems with planting technology. You can call them in the middle of the night for advice." Cai Yougui told reporters that good strawberry planting is inseparable from expert guidance. Diao Yufeng, deputy dean of the Liaoning Strawberry Research Institute, said that this benefited from Donggang City’s emphasis on strawberry planting research in recent years.
In 2013, Donggang established the Liaoning Strawberry Science and Technology Research Institute, which integrates strawberry scientific research, technology promotion, seedling production and strawberry fresh-keeping packaging technology research and development. In order to cultivate seedlings, Donggang has established a three-level seedling breeding system, which can produce up to 100,000 high-quality virus-free original seedlings per year, which can meet the production of seedlings in tens of thousands of mu of facilities after expansion. At the same time, a strawberry germplasm resource nursery covering an area of nearly 10 acres will be constructed in accordance with international standards, and nearly 170 strawberry variety resources at home and abroad will be collected to provide basic support for variety selection and technology research and development.
In order to overcome the technical difficulties of strawberry planting, Donggang focuses on the introduction of "external brains." The local strawberry academician expert workstation has been established, and 7 domestic and foreign academician experts regularly come to guide strawberry scientific research. In 2018, the workstation also led the integration of 18 domestic colleges and universities, scientific research institutes and key enterprises, and established the Liaoning strawberry industry technology innovation strategic alliance to strengthen technical cooperation and the transformation of scientific and technological achievements.
Now many farmers in Donggang have become experts in strawberry planting, and they are small well-known "soil experts". "Last month, our "soil experts" were invited to Changzhi, Shanxi to do strawberry production technical guidance." Diao Yufeng said.
Technological cultivation has brought about a rise in strawberry prices.
Standing in the largest strawberry farm in Donggang, Jiujiu Farm, the general manager of the farm Xu Gang said that by adopting frozen seedling technology, the ripening time and time to market for Donggang strawberries are greatly advanced; the strawberry greenhouse provides strawberry growth needs through intelligent equipment The large temperature difference between day and night and other conditions greatly improve the quality and taste of strawberries. “When the farm was built in 2013, Donggang strawberries cost 9 yuan a catty. Last year, our farm’s strawberries sold for 120 yuan a catty.”
"Little Strawberry" also brought a change of concept to local farmers.
Cai Yougui, who said with a smile, "I don't want to go to the city when the sedan chair is lifted," Cai Yougui discussed with the reporter about the integration of the strawberry national market. Airplane.” Li Shengfei, a 56-year-old villager in Wujia Village, had been earning a living by doing odd jobs. “Original jobs are insecure. They didn’t find a job the day before, and they couldn’t sleep at night.” She said that she had her own strawberry greenhouse three years ago. If you run your head, sleep will be at ease. Now my family earns four to five million yuan a year by growing strawberries, and also hires 10 workers to take them to a well-off life. (Finish)