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Qamdo city of SW China’s Tibet alleviates poverty through grape cultivation and wine industry

(People's Daily Online)    10:06, May 14, 2020

Thanks to grape plantations and wine enterprises, many impoverished people in Qamdo, southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region have enjoyed higher incomes and found jobs near their homes, Xinhuanet.com reported Wednesday.

A villager works in grape plantations in Adong village, Mogxoi town, Mangkam county, Qamdo of southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region, May 6. (Photo by Zhan Yan/Xinhua)

So far there are five grape production and processing enterprises in Qamdo, helping increase the income of more than 400 poor local people at a steady rate, with the annual wine output exceeding 600 tonnes and yearly output value topping 64 million yuan (about $9 million).

The cultivation area of grapes in Qamdo has reached 1,300 hectares, with grape plantations mainly located in counties including Mangkam county, Zogang county, Baxoi county, and Chagyab county.

Located in the southern region of Qamdo, Mangkam county, Mogxoi town, Naxi town, and Qucainka town maintain suitable climate conditions for the growth of grapes and holds a long tradition of grape cultivation.

In recent years, Mangkam county has made great efforts to promote grape cultivation and managed to turn it into a promising industry that helps local people shake off poverty and increase income.

Photo shows Adong village, Mogxoi town, Mangkam county, Qamdo of Tibet autonomous region, May 6. (Photo by Zhan Yan/Xinhua)

The grape planting area of 211 households in Mogxoi town has reached 132 hectares, among which 68 hectares of the plantations have already started to bear fruit.

According to Yeshe Dorje, head of Mogxoi town, the town’s grape output reached 350 tonnes last year, bringing in cash earnings of nearly 1.8 million yuan (roughly $250,000), which helped bring many people out of poverty, boosting the average income of local households by 8,400 yuan (over $1,200).

Mangkam county has introduced several companies to the locality of the business to help bring awareness of the opportunity to boost employment for local people.

“Last year, we bought 410 tonnes of grapes from local people at a total cost of more than 2 million yuan (about $282,000),” said Qogco, deputy general manager of a wine company in Mangkam county that has provided long-term jobs for 28 local people with an average monthly salary of 3,600 yuan per person.

The company has leased 33 hectares of land from Naxi town to grow grapes for its high-end wine. Besides paying rent for the land, the company also hires local residents of Naxi town to handle relevant work in the plantations including weeding, applying fertilizer and picking fruit on a daily wage of 150 yuan for each worker.

Photo shows a workshop of the branch of C&G Hong Group in Zogang county, Qamdo of Tibet autonomous region, May 9. (Photo by Zhan Yan/Xinhua)

Zogang county has also sped up efforts to develop grape-related industries over the past years, as the county’s Zhonglinka town has converted over 467 hectares of wasteland into grape plantations, with the planting area of grapes reaching 389 hectares .

The government of Zhonglinka has offered 75,000 free grape seedlings to local people, encouraging them to plant grapes in open spaces around their houses.

In 2019, Zogang county managed to introduce a leading company in grape cultivation and wine industry, C&G Hong Group based in Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian province, to set up a branch in the county and create a wine industrial chain that benefits more local households.

“The vineyard is close to my home, so it only takes me 10 minutes to arrive at the place I work by motorcycle. The job is so great,” said Ragya, a villager of Zhonglinka.

From a registered poor household in Zhonglinka, Ragya now works in the vineyard at the Zogang county branch of C&G Hong Group on a monthly salary of over 3,000 yuan.

Qogco, deputy general manager of a wine company in Mangkam county, shows wine produced by her company, May 4. (Photo by Zhan Yan/Xinhua)

The branch is expected to process 6,000 tonnes of grapes a year after its vineyard enters harvest season, according to Huang Xincong, executive deputy chief of Zogang county.

“The vineyard can provide jobs for more than 100 people from registered poor households, with part of the branch’s profits to be distributed to local people as dividends,” Huang said.

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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