In the district of Enyang in Bazhong City -near Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province- asparagus planting has really kicked off in just the last two years, improving its people's livelihoods. According to local officials, 1,565 households consisting of 5,329 people have been lifted out of poverty since the district started pushing this industry in a big way in 2018. By the end of 2019, no one in the entire district of 580,000 people (2014 consensus) was deemed poor by China's poverty standards.
Luo Fanghe, who earned 86,000 yuan (US$12,000) in 2019 planting and selling asparagus, is one of them. Despite having lived with just one full arm since he was 6 months old, he exudes such a positive and grateful persona.
"After studying the skills and technology needed organized by the district, I learned how to plant asparagus. I then contracted over 60,000 square meters of land and started hiring workers," he said. Luo now manages a team of about 20 workers. During the peak harvest period from April to August, he can collect almost 200 kilograms of asparagus every day.
According to Yang Qingpeng, deputy director of the Asparagus Industry Development Office in Enyang, there are three forms in which farmers are able to earn income from asparagus planting.
"They can firstly transfer their land to a cooperative, where they can obtain rent. Secondly, farmers can also earn an average income of 10,000 yuan (US$1,400) a year from working at the industrial park," he told CGTN.