Malania oleifera in Guangnan, Yunnan province. (Photo courtesy of the Guangnan Media Convergence Center)
Malania oleifera in Guangnan, Yunnan province. (Photo courtesy of the Guangnan Media Convergence Center)

Endangered plant in South-west China creates cash crops for villagers

By People’s Daily Online SA Time of article published Sep 7, 2021

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In recent years, Malania oleifera, an endangered and valued tree species endemic to China, has been transformed into a cash crop in the Guangnan county of Wenshan Zhuang and Miao autonomous prefecture, southwest China's Yunnan province.

Malania oleifera was included on the list of national key protected wild plants (first batch) published by the State Council in 1999 and was designated as a key protected item in the emergency action plan for the rescue and protection of species with extremely small populations in Yunnan province three years later.

Guangnan county has redoubled its efforts to protect the species by adopting some measures, such as resource surveying, strengthening the construction of the protection community, building its germplasm bank, standardizing fruit harvesting and so on, in an effort to ramp up the protection of plant resources.

In addition to its protection efforts, Guangnan county is also working towards realizing the artificial cultivation of Malania oleifera and reinforcing the research and development into relevant products. Since Malania oleifera is of great value for the production of nervonic acid, the purchase price of its fresh fruits can reach 25 yuan/jin (about $1.9 per kilogram), making it a veritable cash crop for the villagers.

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