Farmers add shine to apple production

Agricultural innovators help transform poor enclave into wealthy village

By ZHANG YU in Shijiazhuang | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-01-11 08:03
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A farmer moves cases of harvested apples at her orchard. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"Every time during the key period of apple planting, Yang will bring members of the technical service team to my orchard to provide technical guidance, sometimes even a dozen times a year," Zhao said.

He said the technical support had boosted the annual income he made from his 2 hectares of land by 80,000 yuan ($11,194) to 90,000 yuan.

The technical service team has developed a 3,867-hectare Fugang apple planting base and helped fruit farmers increase their annual incomes by an average of more than 10,000 yuan.

After experiencing the sweet taste of success brought by knowledge and skills, the professional farmers in Gangdi kept innovating.

One expert farmer, Yang Shuangkui, has independently developed five new techniques, one of which rejuvenates old orchards, increasing income by over 450,000 yuan a hectare.

The technique has been rolled out across more than 20 hectares, boosting farmers' incomes by millions of yuan.

The burgeoning apple industry in Gangdi has brought many people back to the village.

Wang Lianjie, 41, returned from working in a city in 2007 after witnessing his fellow villagers prosper from apple farming. Initially lacking knowledge, Wang helped his father in an orchard while attending Li's classes.

His dedication quickly turned him from a novice into an expert, and in 2013 he earned the technician title.

"Now I manage 280 fruit trees and run an agricultural supply store, earning over 100,000 yuan a year," Wang said, adding that his success allowed him to buy a car and send his child to a city school.

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