Herbs, hotels and home cooking raise rural residents' incomes

By Hou Liqiang | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-14 09:07
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Visitors take photos of the scenery outside a homestay in Dongzhigou village, Shuobei, Qinghai in August, 2020. [Photo by HOU LIQIANG/CHINA DAILY]


The family's finances changed in 2016. Using a local government subsidy of about 30,000 yuan and savings of 9400 yuan, Zhao bought a small truck and started buying vegetables to sell at markets.

The business was successful. He earned 50,000 yuan that year, which meant he could remove his family from the poverty list.

That was only the beginning as the local government brought in more industries to help residents lead better lives.

In 2017, with the help of the local government, Zhao began growing the herb angelica sinensis, a type of ginseng, making 48,000 yuan from the business that year. Meanwhile, his wife became a cook after attending training classes organized by the local government to help local families start homestays to serve the rising number of tourists.

Li Yingren, Party chief of Dongzhigou, said the government began to promote cultivation of angelica sinensis in 2015. That year, the 79 families who decided to plant the herb were each offered free seedlings worth 24,000 yuan.

They were also given training before they planted and experts offered regular guidance, Li said.

He added that the local government promised a minimum purchasing price of 8 yuan per kilogram.

While expanding their herb cultivation area, Zhao's family started a restaurant in 2018 to employ his wife's cooking skills.

He has hired three local people to work in the restaurant, which can seat more than 100 people, and earns over 100,000 yuan ($14,633) a year from the eatery.

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