Medog: Tea planting helps alleviate poverty - Economy & Society - Tibetol

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Medog: Tea planting helps alleviate poverty
By:China Tibet Online
update:July 11,2018
July 11,2018--Entering the village of Hezha in Dexing Township, Medog County, Tibet, one can smell the rich fragrance of tea. This village, which used to only grow corn and finger millet in its valley, has newly developed more than 450 mu (30 hectares) of tea gardens in the mountainous region in Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley.
Medog County is located deep in the Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley. Its climate is moist and foggy, and it sits at a moderate altitude, which is suitable for growing tea.
However, people there are used to growing grain and using slash-and-burn cultivation methods. It is until the year 2012 that with help from the Guangdong Province, Lagong Village took the lead in growing 90 mu (6 hectares) of tea and they had good results, so the next year, Medog County began to promote the development of tea gardens on a large scale.
Medog Village was one of the first villages to grow tea.
"A half kilo of good Medog green tea can sell for at least 700 yuan (106 US dollars)," villager Tenzin Phuntsok, said.
"My family has 8 mu (0.53 hectares) of land on the mountain, all of which are used for tea growing. Last year our net income was more than 40,000 yuan (6,031 US dollars)."
He added that his family began growing tea in 2014, and two years ago, they were one of the first families to be lifted out of poverty.
The special soil and climate conditions create a good quality Medog tea, which has been much sought after on the market. At the 7th Sichuan International Tea Expo held in May of this year, Medog green and black teas were both awarded gold medals.
In just five years, Medog Township, Dexing Township, and three others have built 25 high-standard organic tea gardens with a total area of 7,326 mu (488.4 hectares). The annual incomes of tea-growing households have increased by more than 40,000 yuan. By the end of 2017, the county had picked a total of 23,740.5 kilograms of tea leaves, increasing the total income of 2,571 people by more than 1.75 million yuan (0.26 million US dollars) and achieving an output value of 5.1738 million yuan (0.78 million US dollars).
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