Tibetan village's green code of rural revitalization

(Xinhua) 19:00, January 16, 2023

LHASA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Karma Sonam is busy packing traditional Tibetan medicine into exquisite gift boxes, as he has got more orders recently as the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches.

The 30-year-old resident of Bamkhen Village, Bome County of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, runs a specialty shop selling Tibetan medicine. "They will go to the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang. The daily sales have reached around 100,000 yuan (about 14,895 U.S. dollars) this week," said Karma Sonam.

He attributed his successful business to the rich natural resources in his hometown.

Bamkhen Village has a population of 409, and the forest coverage rate reaches 45 percent. Collecting fungi and Tibetan herbs such as caterpillar fungus and gastrodia elata in the forest and selling them is one of the primary sources of income for herdsmen and farmers in the village.

Back in Karma Sonam's childhood, villagers could only sell the herbs they collected to outside merchants at a lower price due to poor transportation. In 2018, Karma Sonam traveled to central China's Henan Province and found wild Tibetan herbs very popular in markets outside Tibet.

Seeing the commercial opportunity, Karma Sonam opened a specialty store in 2019, mainly selling wild herb materials and herbal products purchased from his fellow villagers to tourists or purchasing agents. With a good reputation, locals from nearby villages also invited him to buy their herbal materials.

He even sells locals' dairy products to help increase their income and engages in e-commerce to expand the marketing channel.

This year, Karma Sonam plans to establish a plantation base of fritillary bulbs under the support of village cadres and attract and train more villagers to benefit from the cash cow.

Data showed that, in 2021, the total income of Bamkhen Village reached more than 8.32 million yuan, and the per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen reached 15,545 yuan.

In 2022, Karma Sonam's village was listed as a traditional Chinese village. Therefore, it aims to promote rural tourism.

"A total of 47 villagers have received cooking training, and we hope more villagers can jump on the bandwagon in the tourism industry," said Padma Dekyi, a village official.

"The government is planning to improve the infrastructure and look of our village, and we are all looking forward to the future," he added.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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