Fa Yueping poses for a photo in her ecological agriculture park featuring organic planting and earthworm breeding in Lunzhen Town of Yucheng City, east China's Shandong Province. [China Women's News]
When walking in anecological agriculture park in Lunzhen Town of Yucheng City, Shandong Province, you will find rows of green seedlings in the tomato planting green house with sweet-tasting fresh tomatoes.
The successful planting in the eco-agriculture park is attributed to the commonly seen earthworms and Fa Yueping, the park's operator.
Fa, 48, graduated from Nanjing University with a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering. When she began breeding earthworm seven years ago, she was engaged in corporate consulting with an income of more than two million yuan ($290,000) per year.
What Fa wanted was to use the eco-circulation technology to develop agricultural production.
As early as 2011 when she was engaged in her postdoctoral research at Shandong University, she started to be curious about earthworms because of a project she was involved in. She understood the unique role of earthworms in ecological plantation through the research.
"The earthworm cast is a good organic fertilizer, which can improve soil, save cost and increase the harvest," Fa says.
In 2012, Fa started raising earthworms in Jinan, capital city of Shandong Province, and two years later, she resignedfrom her consulting job and went back to Zibo, her hometown,to start her earthworm business.
She extracted the active enzyme polypeptide from earthworms, which can be used to replace most of the chemical fertilizers and pesticides, help reduce fertilizer use, improve agricultural efficiency and make the land more viable.
"The earthworm's active enzyme polypeptide has been used in planting apples, peaches, strawberries and vegetables in Shandong, enhancing the quality and yield of the vegetables and fruits significantly," said a R&D staff of Fa's team."The earthworms are rich in protein, amino acids and active substances, and we will further explore their added value."
In 2017, Fa built two earthworm breeding workshops, increased investment in scientific research, and established herown research and development center and team.
Fahas employed local rural women for her agricultural park to help them get rid of poverty. More than two-thirds of her staff are local rural women with annual individual income exceeding 20,000 yuan.She believes acompany should shoulder its social responsibilities.
To help local farmers earn more money, she has been teaching them to grow organic vegetables with organic manure and active enzyme.
"The earthworm ecological cycle technology enables farmers to achieve green and circular development of agricultural production. By making use ofearthworm cast and active enzyme polypeptide liquid extracted fromearthworms, farmers are able to reduce agricultural production costs and improve the quality of agricultural products," says Fa.
"This agricultural production model can develop into a huge industrial chain, boosting the integration of the tertiary industry and the transformation and upgrading of agriculture. This requires us to arouse people's awareness, and more importantly, to carry out in-depth reform in technology and agricultural production structure. It is my real intention of raising earthworms,"she adds.
Fa was elected as the Vice Chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the International Earthworm IndustryAlliance at the First International Earthworm Congress held in Shanghai In June 2018.
"We will continue to expand our breeding and build earthworm breeding bases in Hebei and Jiangsu provinces," Fa says with great confidence.
(Source: China Women's New/Translated and Edited by Women of China)
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