Business / Industries

Entrepreneurs turn to the land for profit

By Yu Ran in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2012-12-24 10:27

Wang is not the only businessman in Zhejiang province to realize he would be better off giving up a struggling manufacturing-based company for a fresh start working the land.

According to statistics released by Zhejiang Provincial Administration for Industry and Commerce, the average annual amount of money invested in agriculture by Zhejiang businessmen has exceeded 10 billion yuan over the past five years. The total amount reached 20 billion yuan last year.

The investments covered the traditional industries of seeding and agriculture technology, as well as the emerging organic market with high-quality agricultural products.

"With more businesses being forced to cut production lines and even close their factories due to the worsening economy, finding other ways to make money is the best solution to survive at the moment," said Zhou Dewen, chairman of the Wenzhou SME Development Association.

Zhou added that investing in agriculture-related projects such as setting up organic farms, building farmhouses for tourism and putting money into innovative agricultural products will be a new method of boosting private capital.

Zhejiang businesspeople, one of the most active in the country and known to always be on the lookout for profitable projects, have noticed the great potential of modern agriculture and are giving up on the poorly performing property market and unstable stock market and turning to the land.

"The majority of Zhejiang businesspeople have a common knack in seizing opportunities and the courage to put their instincts into practice without being afraid of losing money at the beginning," said Zhou.

Zhou added that applying their experienced management abilities and a sufficient amount of money to the traditional agriculture industry will bring a win-win result for investors and the unused land in undeveloped regions.

Huang Shengfang, the chairman of Zhejiang Juke Group, a company that produces electrical equipment for export, took over a local farm in Yueqing county, Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, earlier this year for 5 million yuan and started to breed pigs to make more money.

"The rapidly surging price of pork in China enabled me see a great opportunity to make money from pig farms. It will bring me much more profit than I get from electrical appliances at the moment," said Huang.

Unlike Wang, who gave up his company in its entirety to run a large farm, Huang recognizes the move as an additional investment to make money during a tough period.

"I will treat it as a part-time job to make extra profits at the moment because I am not qualified to run a farm and don't have any relevant experience," said Huang.

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