|The first generation of women who developed vegetable greenhouses in Sanyuanzhu Village, Shouguang, east China's Shandong Province [China Women's News]|
Locals in the village of Sanyuanzhu, east China's Shandong Province, have found success and prosperity in the last 40 years by building greenhouses and growing vegetables in the off-season.
Previously, the economy in Sanyuanzhu had suffered from a harsh local environment and impoverished living conditions because of historical and geographical reasons.
However, with the introduction of reform and opening-up, villagers began to own their own land, thanks to the household contract responsibility system.
Under the guidance of Wang Leyi, secretary of the village Party branch, locals grew apples, peaches, hawthorns and grape vines on the nearby mountainous terrain and thereby earned more money.
Three years later, villagers turned to growing off-season vegetables in modern greenhouses, which are heated only with sunlight.
By 1990, some 5,130 greenhouses were set up in the local county of Shouguang, where people earned over 60 million yuan a year in total from the initiative.
Nowadays, Shouguang is hailed as the hometown of Chinese vegetables and has been conferred with many titles, including Modem Agriculture Demonstration Site, Agricultural Standardized County, and National Agricultural Products Quality and Safety Demonstration County, among others.
Last year, Sanyuanzhu worked in cooperation with China Agricultural University and Shandong Agricultural University in an effort to set up a vegetable growing training base and provided villagers with free training courses. Over 7,000 individuals have benefited.
However, with the popularity of greenhouse vegetable growing technology, more and more people have developed the industry, which meant villagers in Sanyuanzhu have to keep exploring some other ways to boost their incomes.
Following the national supply-side structural reform, villagers have promoted agricultural production towards a main trend of intensification, specialization and organization so as to improve the quality of their produce.
At the end of 2016, the village set up a cooperative and all of the 128 local households signed up.
The cooperative set unified standards for agricultural materials, pesticides, fertilizers and the sale of vegetables, which ensures a high quality.
In addition, villagers changed the traditional way of growing in the soil and innovated a new method to maintain soil fertility and save energy.
With the rapid development of the local economy, the village has taken on a new look.
"All roads have been hardened, villagers have moved into new houses and we live happier lives than before," said a villager.
Furthermore, children can take classes in the newly-established schools and kindergartens, and the elderly can enjoy their lives in the local nursing home.
"We will constantly develop green vegetables, help locals increase their incomes and contribute our efforts to promoting the rural vitalization campaign as well as leading farmers across the country to get richer in the new era," Wang concluded.
|The fifth generation of vegetable greenhouses in Sanyuanzhu Village, Shouguang, east China's Shandong Province [China Women's News]|
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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