BIJIE, China, Oct. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by Guizhou Daily: A bountiful harvest is finally here. This year, an apple orchard in Tiejiang Village, Hezhang County, Bijie City of Southwest China’s Guizhou province, reached an annual output of 300,000kg and a gross income of ¥1.8 million yuan, marking a substantial income for the impoverished households in this once-backward Village.

These products were mainly sold to local markets, with some sales in the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Li Kaiyang, a technician dispatched to Tiejiang Village, at the apple orchard in Hezhang County, Bijie City.
Li Kaiyang, a technician dispatched to Tiejiang Village, at the apple orchard in Hezhang County, Bijie City.

Tiejiang Village boasts stunning scenery with karst caves and mountains visible everywhere. It used to be the poorest mountainous area in Hezhang County, Bijie City, Guizhou Province, taking about a tedious four-hour long drive from Guiyang, the provincial capital city of Guizhou.

The reborn of the orchard was not all plain sailing. The orchard covers an area of about 75.09 acres (455.8 mu) and was established at the end of December 2017 with a total investment of ¥7.9159 million yuan.

Due to a sudden break of the main funding chain in 2021, the orchard was not well-managed then, and the planting was severely affected, as a result, the orchard was even abandoned once.

To solve this problem, Tiejiang Village first introduced professional enterprises to manage the apple orchard, then requested the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the CPC Guizhou Province Committee to coordinate with the State Ethnic Affairs Commission to inject ¥800,000 yuan to the apple orchard in 2022.

Not only investments but also technicians were sent to the orchard.

Li Kaiyang, a technician dispatched to Tiejiang Village by the Agricultural and Rural Bureau of Hezhang County, checks the orchard every day. He said: “This year, the orchard adopted a fertigation system and top-grafting method. Plus, we gave extra tree care to the aging ones. As a result, the yield increased by about 30%.”

Now, round, full-blushed red, sweet, and juicy apples hang extremely well to the tree.

They did more than planting at the apple orchard.

The ecological cycle established by the local farmers through feeding ducks and geese with apples and returning the manure to the fields is a great example of being consistent with nature and achieving “one thing for multiple uses”. This practice not only helps to improve soil organic matter but also reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Li Kaiyang said that in the coming year, he plans to develop its apple orchard by planting undergrowth crops such as gastrodia elata and konjac, as well as incorporating duck farming under the trees.

While there are no current plans for other fruit varieties, the farm plans to improve its apple varieties next year by coordinating the development of early, middle, and late-maturing varieties. This will allow for staggered sales and increased product value, effectively revitalizing underutilized rural assets and driving rural economic development, he added.

Industrial development is a key measure to consolidate and expand poverty alleviation results and effectively connect with rural revitalization. Tiejiang Village serves as a great example of how collaboration, innovation, and investment in agriculture and rural development can transform once backward areas into thriving communities.

Li Hua, First Secretary of the Lianmeng Township in Tiejiang Village, introduced that to promote industries in the Tiejiang Village, the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the CPC Guizhou Province Committee has provided supports on human resources, technology, and market development for the apple orchard while developing ecological and circulatory agriculture.

Since 2016, the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the CPC Guizhou Province Committee, and Guizhou Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese have dispatched personnel to work in the Tiejiang village to ensure 17 projects in Hezhang County run smoothly. These projects are mainly about campus infrastructure building, planting and breeding industries, road construction, and other aspects of rural development.

An apple, a flower, a village clinic, a campus… On the land of Wumeng Mountain, the picture of rural revitalization drawn by the UFWD is unfolding…