Common prosperity offers new hope to minority county in east China

(Xinhua) 10:04, September 22, 2021

HANGZHOU, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- As mountain winds blow through the alpine basin, water bamboo leaves dance slowly like a green wave, welcoming the harvest season.

With an altitude of over 1,000 meters and a favorable ecological environment, Jingning She Autonomous County in east China's Zhejiang Province is no doubt an ideal place for water bamboo shoots, a typical agriculture product in China and an integral part of many Asian recipes.

Since August, local farmers have been busy in the fields. With hats, knives, water-proof boots and thick plastic containers, they usually work eight hours a day, reaping the shoots in mud and water. Their figures are often hidden by the leaves which can stand up to 2 meters tall.

Jingning is the only autonomous county for the She ethnic group in the country and the only minority county in east China, with a population of 20,000. The She people have lived in Jingning for 1,200 years. Living in the deep mountains, they call themselves "Shanha," meaning guests of the mountains.

Far away from the metropolis and long being isolated from the outside world, Jingning was once hit hard by poverty. To live better lives, She minority people and Han people joined hands to sell high-quality agricultural products out of the mountains.

"Our water bamboo shoots are large, sweet and fresh, and they can also be eaten raw," said Mei Gensheng, a local resident in Jingning's Daji Township, adding that his 6 mu (about 0.4 hectares) of water fields can bring his family 60,000 yuan (about 9,282 U.S. dollars) per year by planting the bamboo shoots.

This year, he tried to plant a new variety, which could be harvested twice a year and bring an extra income of 2,000 yuan per mu.

Trucks laden with fresh products rush into the nearby market in the morning, from where the shoots would be delivered to Shanghai, Hangzhou and other cities.

According to Liu Haiming, a Communist Party official of Daji Township, there are 5,000 mu of water bamboo fields in Daji, with more than 1,500 people engaging in the industry that registers an annual output value of 40 million yuan.

Now, villagers in Jingning can enjoy a stable life without having to work elsewhere. The per capita disposable income of rural residents in Jingning reached 21,625 yuan last year, leading China's ethnic autonomous counties in terms of economic competitiveness. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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