fantasyfootballblockchain|Xi Story: Apples of happiness on Loess Plateau

super2024-06-30 15:08:136News

YAN'AN, Shaanxi, June 30 (Xinhua) -- In his orchard on the Loess Plateau, Lyu Liwei, 53, crouched to bag an apple from one of his 300 apple trees, as countless fruits packed in yellow bags hung from the leafy canopy.

A few steps beyond the orchard's fences, the flat ground abruptly ends, revealing a panorama of the plateau, with steep slopes and green valleys basking under the scorching sun.

Lyu's copse is situated amid an array of orchards in the upper reaches of Liangjiahe Village in Shaanxi Province, northwest China, accessible only by a steep, winding mountain road that starts at the foot of the ridge.

In February 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled along this steep road in an SUV to visit an orchard near Lyu's, a trip he specifically requested.

Viewing the thriving orchard, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, congratulated its owner Zhang Weipang: "Weipang, you are a rich man nowfantasyfootballblockchain!"

Delighted with what he saw, Xi encouraged locals to nurture the apple industry. His interest stems from a simple aspiration to improve people's lives there, which originated from the seven years he spent working and studying in Liangjiahe as an "educated youth" -- urban youth sent to remote rural areas to "learn from farmers."

During his stay in the village, Xi worked alongside the villagers, tending to crops, herding sheep and hauling coal. It was in Liangjiahe, in 1974, that he joined the CPC, and soon became village Party chief, marking the humble beginning of his political career.

Xi recalled that his earnest wish at that time was "to make it possible for the villagers to have meat for meals, and have it often." That's why he led several initiatives to improve the lives of people in Liangjiahe, including setting up the province's first methane-generating pit. The use of biogas helped solve coal and firewood shortages that had long troubled the village.

Serving the people wholeheartedly is the fundamental goal of the CPC. Deeming himself a "son of the Loess Plateau," Xi said his experience there had instilled in him the unwavering conviction to serve the people through concrete efforts.

Liangjiahe is located in the city of Yan'an, an old CPC revolutionary base area. Like most parts of the Loess Plateau, it was once plagued by drought and soil erosion.

A natural sciences academy established by the CPC introduced apple trees to the area in 1940 and locals subsequently began apple farming. Following decades of development, apple planting has emerged as a top local specialty industry for Yan'an since the mid-1980s.

After effective ecological restoration and agricultural development, today, apple has become a signature symbol -- and product -- of the city's rural areas, including Liangjiahe, playing an important role in lifting the city out of poverty in 2019.

Lyu started growing apples over a decade ago. "Before growing apples, we used to grow millet," he said, adding that it was only enough to feed the family. "Now that we grow apples, we earn so much more."

Last year, his orchard generated nearly 100,000 yuan (about 14,031 U.S. dollars) in income. For the entire village, the per capita disposable income reached 21,312 yuan.

The development of industries with distinctive local features plays a crucial role in China's rural revitalization drive. Xi has emphasized the importance of developing such industries on multiple occasions, including his recent inspection trip to northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, where he stressed the sustainable development of local specialty industries like wine and goji berries.

In October 2022, Xi came to Yan'an again, days after the closing of the 20th CPC National Congress. During this inspection trip, he visited an orchard in Nangou Village.

Standing among the trees with ripe apples hanging down, Xi picked an apple and struck up a conversation with local apple growers, inquiring about their tending methods, harvesting practices, income and the development of other local industries.

fantasyfootballblockchain|Xi Story: Apples of happiness on Loess Plateau

Upon learning about the local practice of drip irrigation and refined management, Xi lauded their efforts, adding that it is indeed "the right time" and "the right place" to develop the apple plantation industry.

Apples from Nangou Village and other places in Yan'an are now sold across the country, and have become renowned for their exceptional quality. Also, as the village has gained acclaim for its apples, tourists have begun to visit, leading to the development of homestays, orchard tours and other activities. In 2023, the village welcomed some 80,000 visitors.

Today in Yan'an, apple orchards occupy approximately 3.33 million mu (about 222,000 hectares) of land, yielding 4.64 million tonnes last year, contributing more than 60 percent of the operating income of the local farmers.

In May this year, an index that specifically reflects the development of Yan'an's apple industry was jointly unveiled by the city government and China Economic Information Service, highlighting the strong brand image of Yan'an apples.

A seasoned apple grower, Lyu is confident that he will achieve a bumper harvest this year. "The trees are bearing copious fruit, indicating that this year will be bountiful," he said with a grin, adding that the output is estimated to double that of last year.

This truly reflects what Xi had said: in Yan'an, apple growing is "the best, most suitable industry that has great prospects."

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