'Cherry Village' Bids Farewell to Grey Past

 May 7, 2022
'Cherry Village' Bids Farewell to Grey Past
Photo taken on April 16, 2022 shows tourists buying cherries in Taoying Village in Bijie City, southwest China's Guizhou Province. [Xinhua/Li Fan]


GUIYANG, May 6 (Xinhua) — Yang Huhu, 47, is extremely busy at his cherry farm as urban tourists swarm in this time of year to enjoy country life and pick ripe fruit.

Yang's family, from Taoying Village in southwest China's Guizhou Province, makes over 100,000 yuan (about 15,125 U.S. dollars) each year from the business as his village embraces a booming cherry industry.

Around 2,600 villagers are all members of a collective cooperative owned by the village. In years gone by, most villagers made a living by firing tiles and clay pots, but today, red cherries are bringing in a sweet fortune.

"Seeing the cherry trees grown everywhere on the hill today, one would find it hard to imagine that the village used to be constantly enveloped in grey air," said Xiao Jun, Party chief of the village.

The hill in the village used to be dotted with kilns for burning tiles while smoke and dust shrouded the sky on a daily basis. Furthermore, high levels of pollution did not translate into high profits.

Change came about in 1996, when an agricultural technician developed a new breed of cherry in the village with a higher yield and sugar content than previously grown varieties. Eyeing the business opportunity, many decided to grow the new breed.

Over the next 20 years or so, around 333 hectares of cherry trees have been grown in the village. In 2019, the village established a cooperative that aims to gather all available resources to better develop the local industry.

"Today, the cherry forest has become a treasure trove for the local residents," Xiao said, adding that the collective cooperative's revenue reached over 1 million yuan in 2021 and the total output of the cherry industry exceeded over 30 million yuan.

The industry has also boosted local tourism. A total of over 110 farm stays, B&Bs and convenient stores have opened in the village in recent years.

"Now we are also planning to establish a deep-processing factory in the village with an investment of 2 million yuan to increase the added value of the products and help the industry go farther and become more stable," Xiao said.


(Source: Xinhua) 


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