Passion fruit sweetens the life of ethnic groups
GUIYANG, Sept.8 (Xinhua) – Yao Dongying had never heard of passion fruit until his county started promoting the planting of the tropical fruit in 2019.
The 59-year-old Miao woman didn’t expect the sweet and shabby berries to make such a difference in her life.
Yao lives in Pingjiang City, Rongjiang County, Southwest China’s Guizhou Province. The county has a population of 372,000, of whom more than 80 percent are members of the Miao and Dong ethnic groups.
Rongjiang County started planting passion fruit two years ago, when locals rallied to participate in the emerging industry.
“I work in a plantation base. I get paid 130 yuan (about US $ 20) a day. In half a month, I can earn around 2,000 yuan,” Yao said, adding that women like her have to. hardly a source of income. in the past.
“We used to grow crops and raise pigs or cattle, which didn’t bring in much income all year round. Today, by working at the grassroots, I can earn more in one. months than in a year, ”she said.
In Pingjiang City alone, there are over 233 hectares of passion fruit, while in Rongjiang County, the crop is grown on 2,800 hectares.
“We have five plantation bases in the city. More than 100 people work in one base every day, and most are women from ethnic groups,” said Wei Aicai, president of a passion fruit plantation company. contracting for the five bases, adding that the industry provides employment opportunities for locals and helps improve the economy in the region populated by ethnic minorities.
“People of ethnic groups were engaged in traditional agricultural work in the past, but the introduction of the passion fruit industry gradually changed their attitude and thinking. Therefore, they are ready to fight for a better life through hard work, ”Wei added.
In recent years, more than 30 enterprises have been established and more than 70 cooperatives established to advance the development of the passion fruit industry in Rongjiang, with the participation of more than 1,500 rural households.
In 2020, the industry created nearly 80,000 jobs and more than 9.5 million yuan was paid to workers.
Yang Shengzuo, deputy director of the standing committee of the Rongjiang People’s Congress, said that the natural, geographic and climatic conditions of Rongjiang are favorable for the growth of passion fruit. County produce is in demand in the market.
“The county is striving to develop the passion fruit industry and there is a plan to increase the plantation area to 13,333 hectares by 2025. The industry will provide stable income to the people of Rongjiang and become a long-term successful career, ”Yang said.