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Lush Tibetan county profits from loquat fruit, tea
By: Xinhua
update:January 16,2023
Aerial photo taken on Sept. 30, 2022 shows the highway linking Pad Township in the city of Nyingchi and Medog County, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Photo by Dong Zhixiong/Xinhua)
 
LHASA, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- While many places in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region are blanketed with snow in winter, Medog County, located in a deep valley in the Himalayas, is bursting with lush greenery.
 
In Padain Village, the locals are busy weeding and fertilizing an orchard with more than 400 loquat trees, which will be bearing fruit for the first time this summer.
 
Since it was moved to a new location in 2021, Padain Village started encouraging its residents to plant loquat trees, with a view to selling the fruit as a cash crop. "We plan to grow around 500 more loquat trees in 2023, benefiting all our 185 villagers," said Wang Ying, a local official.
 
Thanks to the unique climate, which is suitable for planting tropical and subtropical cash crops, the local government of Medog decided to develop the loquat industry, and invited experts to guide and train the locals.
 
Now, there are nearly 2,000 white-fleshed loquat trees and over 8,000 modified loquat trees across the county, according to Liu Zhen, deputy director of the forestry and grassland administration in Medog County.
 
"The new varieties of fruit can sell for a good price and will help increase the income of local residents," said Liu.
 
For centuries, porters were the main means of transportation in Medog, which is besieged by high hills and primitive forests. The isolation of the county ended in October 2013 when Medog Highway opened to traffic.
 
Paved roads are the key to the development of China's vast rural areas. As the Chinese saying goes, "If you want to get rich, first build roads."
 
Convenient transportation will effectively promote the rapid development of agriculture, animal husbandry, tourism and commerce in Medog, thus increasing people's incomes and boosting rural revitalization, said Wei Changqi, Party chief of the county.
 
Apart from loquats, Medog is also reviving its traditional industries such as tea to fatten the wallets of residents.
 
The county is now home to 103 organic tea bases with a total area of more than 19,000 mu (about 1,267 hectares), which has provided an extra income of over 36 million yuan (5.37 million U.S. dollars) for local farmers and herders, according to county head Li Jicheng.
 
Medog was lifted out of poverty in 2019.
 
Data shows that the GDP of Medog County increased from 260 million yuan in 2012 to 852 million yuan in 2021, with an average annual growth rate of 13.8 percent, while the per capita disposable income of farmers and herders skyrocketed to 15,278 yuan in 2021 from 4,875 yuan in 2012. 
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