7 stories of ambitious farmers around the world (part 4)

20-06-2019

This time you can read the story of Tang Wenkang from China. 

Tang Wenkang

Chairman of Yubi Bloody Orange Cooperative
Age: 56
Member since: 2008 (one of the founders)
District/region: Chongqing city, Southwest
Village: Yifeng village

Tang Wenkang used to do business in another city, but when his mother got ill he came back to look after her. In his hometown he found old people and children without family care, lacking stable sources of income and no community care. A friend, who is a doctor, started planting oranges as his hobby and together they came up with the idea to start a cooperative and to grow oranges in the surrounding towns.

Difficult start

Many farmers worked outdoors and young people live far away from the hometowns in the cities. Older people and children had poor living conditions, there was no care, no surplus income and no community activities. The rural roads in the Yifeng Township were bad and driving was difficult. The surrounding communities were also poor, a large area of farmland was abandoned and the soil erosion was a serious problem.

‘The hometown is now a family community again.’

The start was difficult, because in the beginning many farmers were refusing to join the cooperative since there were no direct economic benefits.

Changes

Some significant changes took place for Tang Wenkang and his surroundings.

  1. The cooperative orchard size has expanded from 400 to10000mu (15 mu=1 hectare). The yearly income per farmer has increased from 8,000 RMB to 30,000 RMB.
  2. The country roads now lead directly to every small orchard of the cooperative with clear signposts on the road to promote agri-tourism, which was suggested by Agriterra and supported by the local government.
  3. An orange processing factory has been built and the final products are being sold in a wide area. Agriterra supported this with advice about product design and promotion.
  4. More farmers in nearby counties want to join the cooperative and grow Tarocco oranges. If you go to the township now, you will see orchards mountain to mountain with a beautiful colour display, especially during the harvesting season. Many tourists from the cities come to the cooperative to get oranges, which also promotes the service industry in the county.

Back to hometown

The policy of rural revitalisation in China, from the perspective of ordinary people, is to utilise local resources to develop rural industries to attract young people to come back to their hometowns.

They can develop businesses now, thus creating a good income and therefore will be able to care for their families. They are bringing the hometown’s agricultural development back to life, creating more opportunities and they are making their hometown more beautiful and liveable.
Mr. Tang; “It was extremely worthwhile for us to have made these efforts. We received a lot of support from external organisations like Agriterra. The hometown is now a family community again.”

Almost all the farmers in the cooperative share the same thoughts. One of the female members shared that she has benefitted a lot from the cooperative and the citrus industry here. She returned from the city to take of her family. Her family now has a small orange orchard and they have opened a local specialty restaurant for Agri-tourism. Yubi Cooperative supported them with technical services and marketing. They can sell their oranges to the cooperative too and earn about 200,000 RMB annually.
 

 


Share this article:
Local
Focused
Connected
Quality

Address

Willemsplein 42
6811 KD Arnhem
The Netherlands

+31 (0)26 44 55 445
agriterra@agriterra.org