Grower Jiang Junsheng, who has field near Ruzhou -Henan province- has already pulped a ton of garlic, turning the unwanted crop into fertiliser, but he still has to work out how to dispose of nearly five tons of sweet potatoes, cabbages and other vegetables at his organic farm in central China.
Jiang has tried halving prices for his top-quality goods but there has been almost no interest in the products in the last month since transport networks came to a grinding halt because of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.
“In normal years, I would have sold 40,000 yuan (US$5,720) worth of vegetables in the three weeks after the Lunar New Year holiday. This year, it’s nearly zero,” the farmer said.
Jiang uses an organic solution from waste vegetables to grow his crops and relies heavily on delivery services to get his products to market in distant, first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai where buyers will pay a premium. But disease control measures have made this impossible.
“In the past few weeks, links between most cities have been cut. People and vehicles can’t even get between villages here,” he said. Some of the roads have reopened and more delivery companies resumed business since this week, but it’s far from a full recovery.