Cash bonanza in “sweet” desert perfumed with melon fragrance

LANZHOU, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — Harvest season is bringing swathes of honeydew melons to Li Minzhong, a farmer in Minqin County, a synthetic oasis positioned between Badain Jaran and Tengger, China’s two main deserts protecting 85,000 sq. km in complete. Thanks to the dry and sizzling desert local weather, the county in northwest China’s Gansu Province now nourishes the easiest soil for planting honeydew melons. The melons are essentially the most wanted throughout the nation for his or her candy style, crisp texture and wealthy aroma. Currently, the county boasts a complete plantation space for melons exceeding 13,000 hectares, and farmers in its main manufacturing space can earn round 30,000 yuan (about 4,640 U.S. {dollars}) yearly. However, the native residents will not be born with the mouthwatering profession of melons however armed with it by their very own decade-long endeavor. Minqin county was as soon as dubbed “sand city,” when raging sandstorms used to plague the locals all 12 months spherical and even typically block the solar. Li nonetheless remembers these darkish days when the fury of sandstorms uprooted his seedlings of melons, condemning the person to replant the melons again and again. To mint cash by planting melons was virtually crying for the moon for the locals, mentioned Li. Starting from the Nineteen Fifties, folks in Minqin County started the race to beat the cruel surroundings and battle the worsening desertification. Massive straw checkerboard limitations and shelter forests have been constructed, with corresponding water-saving efforts made, lifting the county’s forest protection charge from merely 3 % in the Nineteen Fifties to the present 18.21 %. For greater than seven many years of the relay race in opposition to the desert, a shelterbelt of greater than 300 km working parallel with the 408 km of desert stormfront has been established, defending the native residents from excessive climate and unveiling the money bonanza of candy melons. On July 20, the county held its annual ceremony to have a good time this 12 months’s good harvest of honeydew melons, signaling the start of the melon’s peak promoting season to nationwide fruit retailers. More than 30 Internet celebrities have been additionally drawn to the distant county to advertise merchandise through livestreaming, whereas dozens of e-commerce companies settled in the Shoucheng Village, Li’s hometown. “We are rising new varieties and bettering our planting normal on a trial foundation. For instance, some trenches alongside the melons are designed to save lots of extra water, which has helped scale back 40 % of the unique water consumption,” mentioned Chen Fang, deputy director of the county’s agriculture and rural affairs bureau. Liu Xianghai, a wholesaler from north China’s Shanxi Province, hails the melon produced in Minqin. “With extra scientific planting requirements and extra handy logistics, the native melon harvest in latest years is of top of the range and so they have grow to be extra widespread in the market,” Liu mentioned. He added that over 30 tonnes of honeydew melons which might be transported on daily basis from Minqin to Taiyuan City, capital of Shanxi Province, could be offered out the identical day. The county is estimated to document a complete output of honeydew melons of round 400,000 tonnes this 12 months, bringing in about 1.44 billion yuan. “A bumper harvest that may convey fortune to the native farmers is in sight,” Chen mentioned.

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