County in E China's Jiangsu thrives on ecological crayfish farming system

(People's Daily Online) 11:04, April 27, 2023

Suining county in east China's Jiangsu Province has thrived on a rice-crayfish farming system—an ecological way to prosperity.

Two farmers show crayfish. (Photo/Gu Shigang)

It's crayfish harvest season, and farmers are busy sorting out freshwater crustaceans in an agricultural base covering 183 mu (12.2 hectares) of land in Qiuhu community in the county.

"The crayfish is rotated with rice here. The agricultural base stands out in terms of natural environment and water quality, and therefore the crayfish are bigger and taste better," said Tian Haoran, head of the base .

Tian explained that the amount of newly caught crayfish per day is approximately 500 kilograms, and will double around May 10. The high-quality crayfish attracts buyers.

Tian transferred some land for the business in 2016, and started with a 50 mu crayfish-breeding area. "The revenue in the first year approached 300,000 yuan ($43,468)," he said. Thanks to his continuous efforts, the cultivation base now has 13 such areas, with the largest occupying 43 mu.

Photo shows a farmer working in a crayfish pond. (Photo/Gu Shigang)

With instructions from the agriculture and rural affairs bureau of Suining and technicians, Tian planted 1,500 yellow peach trees and cultivated over 200 chickens and geese at the base.

"Chicken manure plays a vital role in the production of plankton and algae, the diet of baby crayfish, thus saving 75 kilograms of fodder for the crayfish per mu," said Zhang Zhaoyi , who has been working in the base for three years. Zhang added that Tian's ecological farming mode has attracted many local farmers.

"It is a recyclable ecological system with a sustainable development where no pesticides or fertilizers are used. And the crayfish and rice produced here are very popular," Tian proudly said.

The cultivation base is just one example of Suining, home to nearly 55,000 mu of crayfish-breeding areas, and produces 5,200 tonnes of crayfish a year.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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