China news 14th February 2022
While the extraordinary development of the metropolitan part of China has amazed many people, this week we draw your attention to the young villagers, who make a good living in their hometowns in the country, a move that was frowned upon decades ago.
During the Chinese New Year this year, Lingling, who returned to her hometown from Shenzhen, which is “the capital of money” and where “everyone wants to make money”, found that in the countryside, there was an unknown secret to getting rich.
“I heard from my mother that the small breakfast shop in front of my house can earn more than 100,000 yuan a year, which is higher than my income from working in Shenzhen.” Lingling said with emotion, “There are also grape plantations and strawberries. Picking orchards earns an annual income of 100,000 yuan or 200,000 yuan. I was shocked when I heard it.”
With the change of thinking and the development of the countryside, some new ways of getting rich are also emerging in the countryside. For example, more and more rural young people are starting e-commerce and video blogs. Some young people also return to the countryside. Xiaobo, a Sannong blogger, returned from a factory in Guangdong to rural Guizhou and became a “Sannong” blogger. Now, “the monthly sales of local products can be 50,000 to 60,000 yuan.”
There are also many lesser-known secrets to getting rich in rural areas, although many of them are related to agriculture. For example, the grape plantation and strawberry picking garden that Lingling knows about.
“The Book of Getting Rich” by CCTV-Agricultural and Rural Channel is a program that is deeply loved by the audience. It has been broadcast for more than 20 years. This program introduces various topics such as raising scorpions, raising earthworms and growing mushrooms, a rural way to get rich. In the latest issue of “Sees Fortune from Taro”, the protagonist said that it is not a problem for them to grow taro and earn 10 million yuan a year.
Statistics show that after the broadcast, “The Book of Getting Rich” received an average of about 300 audience consultation calls every day, and hundreds of letters. Others said that they made more than 300,000 yuan a year by following the “Book of Getting Rich” to cultivate.
Unbalanced urban and rural development, population outflow have always been the focus of the central government. Solutions to these problems are now beginning to emerge, as more rural residents are willing to return to the countryside. According to the 2020 National Economic and Social Development Statistical Bulletin, in 2020, the total number of migrant workers in the country will be 285.6 million, down 1.8% from 2019.
Returning home during the Chinese New Year this year, we also chatted with friends from all over the country who made their fortunes in various ways in the countryside. Among them, some raised geese in the Northeast, with an annual income of more than 100,000 yuan; some in North China Raising ostriches, earning 600,000 to 700,000 yuan and building small villas; some people sell sweet dumpling in central China and buy a house in the county.
Wen Tiejun, an expert on agriculture, rural areas and farmers, once said that farmers are reluctant to go to cities to become workers, because they save a fortune in cities, and with primitive accumulation, they will return to the countryside to do small business and become entrepreneurs. The countryside is not only agriculture, but also the distribution centre of various industries. Here is one story:
Don’t underestimate raising a dog, many myths of making wealth come from it. Around 2006, there was a boom in raising Tibetan mastiffs, and the value of a Tibetan mastiff rose to several million yuan or even tens of millions of yuan. Many mastiff owners became rich overnight, but later the value of Tibetan mastiffs plummeted, and some people lost their money.
Therefore, raising a dog is not only a technical job, but also depends on luck. I didn’t think about getting rich, because I liked dogs, so I raised one, thinking that I might be able to earn some pocket money, so I simply raised a few more. The first time I sold a dog, I made nearly 10,000 yuan, and this was the net profit after deducting the cost. After this, I simply resigned and devoted myself to raising dogs wholeheartedly.
I drive to the kennel every day to observe the dynamics of each dog. In order to improve the quality of the dog, the food I feed every day is fresh meat, chicken liver, ham, eggs, etc., and the drink is pure milk. Once the dog is sick, it may cost hundreds or even thousands of yuan for treatment, and I will accompany him all night, and he will not be able to go home for a few days.
Therefore, behind every high-priced dog is the hard work of the dog owner. Although I keep dogs to make money, I have been with them for a long time. They are like my own children. Every time I sell one, I feel sad and hope that they will be favoured by their new owners.”
In another story:
“In recent years, Dandong strawberries have become “Internet celebrities”, and many friends from other places are buying Dandong strawberries to eat. In fact, Dandong’s strawberries come from Donggang City, a county below it. Only the strawberries here are the most authentic Jiujiu strawberries. China’s largest strawberry research institute is also here.
Latitude 40 degrees north is an internationally recognized golden belt for strawberry growth. Donggang is located in such a golden location, coupled with sufficient water sources and excellent water quality, it has the best growing environment for Jiujiu strawberries.
But it’s actually not that easy to grow these strawberries. First, the only places suitable for growing strawberries in Donggang are the surrounding villages and towns. The strawberries grown in greenhouses in other villages and towns do not taste right; secondly, the cost of building sheds is high. It costs several hundred thousand yuan to start, and the subsequent cultivation of strawberry seedlings and labour costs are all investments, and it usually takes two years to recover the cost.
It took more than 300,000 yuan to build the shed. The strawberry seedlings were bought from the research institute. One ordinary seedling was 1 yuan, and one frozen seedling was 2 yuan. Build a shed in summer, plant seedlings in August, and start selling in November. Luckily, the strawberries grown in my shed are delicious. The biggest follow-up cost of strawberry is labour cost. If you hire someone, the profit will be cut in half. My parents and relatives help to take care of the shed in our house, so this part of the expenditure is relatively small.
Generally, the strawberries in the shed are collected by special people, and we are only responsible for picking them. In fact, the shed price of strawberries is not expensive. Taking this year as an example, the shed price of high-quality strawberries is only more than 20 yuan per kilogram when it is the most expensive, and only 10 yuan per kilogram when it is cheap. In addition to the labour costs and transportation costs, plus the difference in the price of the middlemen, the natural price of the strawberries sold has gone up a few steps.
This may be the reason why Dandong strawberries have become an ‘Internet celebrity’. This year, strawberries are particularly good. The strawberry harvest in my greenhouse is also good. It has been sold for 3 months, and the income is almost 200,000 yuan. It can be sold for another 2 months. The strawberry season will be able to recover the cost of building the shed, and it will be pure money from next year.
Now the income from the side business has far exceeded my main business. During the Chinese New Year, I chatted with some friends who came back from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and found that the income from growing strawberries even exceeded their income in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Although the county business is small, it cannot be equated with poverty. As long as you work hard to develop it, the opportunity to make money is no less than the outside world.
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