Anlong county in southwest China's Guizhou province has been helping farmers out of poverty through boosting the development of the edible fungus industry, according to Chinanews.com.
The county is home to 22 edible fungus-related companies and 48 farmers’ cooperatives. Between 2016 and 2020, the planting area of edible fungus grew from 200 mu (13.3 hectares) to 36,000 mu. Last year, the county produced 140,000 tons of edible fungi, creating an output value of more than 1.5 billion yuan (231.6 million dollars).
As a pillar industry in the county, the growing of edible fungus has helped 71,198 villagers from 16,083 impoverished households increase income.
In March 2020, 56-year-old Wang Yonglun, a villager in Xiangchehe village, Puping town, built 13 greenhouses to cultivate shiitake mushrooms, a type of edible fungi.
“Now, shiitake mushrooms in eight greenhouses have started to sprout,” Wang said, estimating that they will bring an income of at least 130,000 yuan ($20,099).
Wang plans to obtain a driver's license and buy a car in 2021 to transport mushrooms, and intends to encourage his son, who is a migrant worker, to join his business.
Like Wang, farmers in Xiangchehe village are enthusiastic about growing edible fungi, which is not a difficult thing and costs relatively low with government subsidies.
According to a village official, the planting area of edible fungus in the village has exceeded 500 mu, and all the greenhouses are equipped with facilities such as refrigeration houses and water tanks.
* This article was published in partnership with People’s Daily Online SA.