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Shanzhou district benefits from herb planting
 

Shanzhou district benefits from herb planting

Forsythia blossoms cover the mountainous areas in Gongqian township, southeastern Shanzhou district of Sanmenxia. [Photo/dahebao.cn]

Gongqian township, southeastern Shanzhou district of Sanmenxia, has previously been plagued by 18,666.7 hectares of infertile hills.

A total of 14,680 people from 4,080 households live in the 222-square-kilometer mountainous area, among which 2,966 people, or 19 percent, are below the poverty line. This has made poverty alleviation a significant obstacle.

By taking advantage of the wild forsythia in the mountains, residents have been able to increase their income in recent years.

The plant is high in both medicinal and ornamental value, which makes it popular among collectors.

Shanzhou district benefits from herb planting

Mountains are ablaze with yellow flowers in Gongqian township, southeastern Shanzhou district of Sanmenxia. [Photo/dahebao.cn]

Gongqian township is now overflowing with 3,333 hectares of yellow forsythia after 1,615 residents from 508 families participated in the planting and harvest of the valuable crop. Their average annual income has increased by at least 4,000 yuan ($637.7) per year.

By establishing cooperatives and ecological bases, Gongqian township has established a collective management system for the plants which includes maintenance and protection, technical guidance and a protective pricing system.

"My husband and I need to send our two children to school -- by picking forsythia, we can earn 3,000 to 4,000 yuan each", said Jia Huanmei, a low income resident from Chilu village.

Shanzhou district benefits from herb planting

Clusters of luxurious Forsythia grow in the mountains of Gongqian township, southeastern Shanzhou district of Sanmenxia. [Photo/dahebao.cn]

Rural tourism, including flower picking, sightseeing and fishing, is also on the rise thanks to the Shenlongxia scenic area, which has contributed to the sustainable and healthy development of the local economy.

"By utilizing the abundant resources provided by wild forsythia bushes, we have increased the income of 508 families by over 3,000 yuan on average, reaching a production value of 2.4 million yuan," said Liu Maomin, secretary of the local township Party committee.

The organization has also invited surrounding villages to share in their success by developing honeybee apiculture and processing products such as honey, leaf tea, and flower tea.

Shanzhou district benefits from herb planting

Yellow Forsythia bushes shimmer against the clear blue sky in Gongqian township, southeastern Shanzhou district of Sanmenxia. [Photo/dahebao.cn]

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