Cooperation brings young back to farm

Waigang Town in Jiading is introducing a new method of agricultural development in a bid to bring young people back to farming.


Waigang Town in Jiading is introducing a new method of agricultural development in a bid to bring young people back to farming.

The 69 family farms in the town, which total an area of 9,850 mu (657 hectares), are divided into seven mutual-help groups to form an efficient and green production league.

In ploughing, crop protection, fertilizing, harvesting and sowing, members of the self-help groups share the work at busy times.

Chen Xiaodong, a Waigang local, quit his factory job two years ago to start farming.

Today, his 130 mu farm is making him around 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) a year and he is confident about sustaining growth.

In July, heavy rain almost put paid to all Chen’s seedlings.

As his fields were low-lying, the water couldn’t drain away quickly enough. Chen and the other member of his group worked overnight to ensure his losses were at their lowest.

“I would not have completed it even if given three days, but the 11 of us were able to save 90 percent of the seedlings in three hours,” Chen said.

The new method is able to guarantee collective efforts to solve problems one person could not solve alone, and everyone profits from it.

This year the farms are introducing over 8,000 mu of new rice varieties, 35 percent of the overall area, to optimize the farming structure and boost production. Sales are expected to hit 350 tons and rake in 2.65 million yuan more than the usual variety of rice.

After harvest, the town’s agricultural committee will provide a delivery service from field to drying center.

“Waigang is officially a brand for our quality rice now,” Chen said. Local authorities also use the Internet for publicity and share Jiading agricultural traditions to promote knowledge of Waigang rice.



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