Village in N China's Shanxi thrives on booming pear industry

(People's Daily Online) 17:53, June 14, 2022

Once struggling with poverty, Changcun village of Shouyang county, north China's Shanxi Province has shaken off poverty and thrived as a result of a booming pear industry over the past 10 years.

File photo shows flowering pear trees in Changcun village of Shouyang county, north China's Shanxi Province. (Photo courtesy of the media convergence center of Shouyang county)

The village now boasts 6,600 mu (440 hectares) of pear trees. Last year, more than 3,000 tonnes of pears were harvested from over 2,000 mu of pear trees, garnering a sales volume exceeding 20 million yuan. The villagers’ per capita annual income reached over 30,000 yuan (about $4,452).

Villager Zhang Zhiping and her family planted about 18 mu of pear trees and earned over 400,000 yuan last year. The family of six saw a tenfold increase in their income since they started to plant pear trees a decade ago. “Our family has bought a car and a new home in the urban area, and our life is getting better and better,” said Zhang.

Photo shows Hou Zhiqiang, former Party secretary of Changcun village, inside an orchard. (Photo/Zhang Yun)

Located in the hinterland of Taihang Mountain, the small village has long been plagued by poverty. According to Hou Zhiqiang, former Party secretary of the village, Changcun sought to shake off poverty by developing a local industry. After several investigation tours and research, leaders in the village eyed pear trees as a potential industry for development.

Then the leaders invited experts from research institutes to carry out feasibility studies for planting pear trees. One team from the Shanxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences reached a conclusion that the village has the growing conditions for pears. “Judging from the location, altitude, and precipitation, our village is suitable for growing pear trees,” said Hou. In the same year, over 40 households took the lead in planting 200 mu of pear trees.

Photo shows pears in Changcun village of Shouyang county, north China's Shanxi Province. (Photo courtesy of the media convergence center of Shouyang county)

Many of the growers had little confidence in the pears at the beginning. “The pear trees flourished and brought me over 20,000 yuan per mu annually, which is beyond my expectations,” introduced Sun Qiniu, a local grower.

The leaders of the village also invited professionals to teach farmers to plant the trees, and to give training sessions to them on a regular basis. As the result, the farmers have not only accumulated much experience, but have also been invited to help growers in other villages. Juicy and sweet, the pears of the village have won many awards nationwide.

The village has also tried to promote the pears, such as participating in trade fairs, and partnering with major clients across the country, including Shanghai, east China’s Shandong Province and southwest China’s Chongqing municipality.

An employee puts pears into a box. (Photo/Zhang Yun)

While continuing to expand the scale of operations, the village tapped into the potential of e-commerce and continued to strive for the comprehensive development of the pear industry. The village’s first livestreaming session for promoting pears drew over 90,000 viewers. So far, the village has streamed over 100 sessions online, during which 80,000 orders were placed.

Besides, the village held pear blossom and pear harvest festivals, and forged a pear industry that incorporates tourism, leisure, and research. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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