Gulang County is a very dry area, where farmers struggle to grow crops and make a decent income. We support the production and value chain development of goji-berries, a profitable cash crop suited to the local climate.
In 2018, we helped a local agricultural cooperative to establish a 200-mu goji-berry demonstration farm. This offers economic and job opportunities to resettled poor farming households who have moved down from the mountains. The demo farm promotes advanced planting techniques to the surrounding growers. We also conducted a goji‐berry value chain and competitiveness study for the county and organized a sector-wide workshop.
In 2019-20 we focused on expert and technical support to the local cooperative to gain “Green Food Certification”, as well as introducing modern drip irrigation. Building on our work, ChemChina decided to invest over 1 million yuan to help the cooperative build a processing facility in Gulang. This facility helps farmers to earn extra income by selling processed goji-berry products, sold under the new brand “Gu Mo”. Meanwhile, we actively support the sales and market linkage activities of the cooperative through both online and in-store channels. The sales of goji-berry have increased steadily.
Moreover, we conducted research looking for solutions for tackling goji-berry root rot disease. The root rot bacteria weaken the growth of the Goji-berry plant. The plant turns yellow or even dies, which seriously affects the yield and fruit quality. The disease has caused great damage to the production of Goji-berry in recent years. Together with Gansu Agricultural University, Syngenta, and Gulang County Forest and Fruit Center, we carried out research in 2018 to identify appropriate fungicides to prevent and control the disease. By the end of 2021, our partners completed all the experiments and selected the appropriate chemicals to control the root rot disease. SFSA organized a technical training meeting to recommend the solutions to Goji-berry growers.
Since 2021, we started to cover more fruit crops. Over 1200 fruit growers received technical training to improve their planting techniques. The training includes efficient cultivation management and pest control technology for high-quality pear, greenhouse grape, Goji-berry, and other local fruits. SFSA introduced new grape varieties according to the climatic characteristics of Gulang, with the purpose of enhancing the market competitiveness of greenhouse grapes in Gulang county and increasing the income of farmers.