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Selenium helps Hubei's Xiantao promote agritourism

By YANG YANG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-07-14 11:13

Selenium helps Hubei's Xiantao promote agritourism

Yang Peizhong, owner of Xinyi Family Farm, picks grapes in Xiantao, Central China's Hubei province, July 7, 2017. [Photo by Yang Yang/chinadaily.com.cn]

Xiantao city, Central China's Hubei province, is leveraging on this region's richness in selenium, one of the 14 essential trace elements that is good for human health, to promote agritourism, or agricultural tourism.

Yang Peizhong, a fruit planter in Chenchang county in Xiantao city, has benefited from the central government's policy to encourage new types of operators in the agricultural market and the development of Se-enriched industry since 2014.

"Thanks to the government policy, I had the opportunity to register Xinyi Family Farm in September 2014 and started to operate agricultural tourism. Because the fruits and vegetables growing in Xiantao are rich in selenium, which is good for people's health, the number of visitors who come to our family farm increases very fast."

In the past the farm has sold all their fruits and vegetables to supermarkets, sales people or customers. Now about one-third are picked by tourists. The market price of grapes is about 10 yuan per jin (half a kg) but the price can be as high as 20 yuan per jin on the farm. By operating Xinyi Family Farm, Yang has gained considerable economic profits.

However, it is not just about money but also mindset, according to Tian Xijiao, Yang Peizhong's wife.

"I used to be a merchant and couldn't accept becoming a farmer at the very beginning, but after learning [about clean] technology, I found planting green vegetables are of a lot of fun. Now I consider it my career."

Urban citizens come to the family farm to enjoy fresh air and a green environment while picking grapes.

Yang added they also have a lot of government support in getting loans, fertilizer, advanced technology and building agricultural infrastructure.

Xinyi is not the only family farm that benefits from selenium richness in Xiantao. A Er Di, another organic ecological leisure agriculture base, also promotes local economic development.

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