Traditional Chinese medicine supports rural development in Yunnan – Xinhua

Villager Zhou Ling shows freshly harvested sealwort, a kind of traditional Chinese grass, in Yinchang village of Zhaotong city, southwest China’s Yunnan province, Sept. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Hu Chao)

KUNMING, March 22 (Xinhua) — From laboratories to farmland, Yang Shaobing has helped people in remote areas of southwest China find a new cash cow by planting traditional Chinese herbal medicines.

Yang, a 37-year-old researcher from the Yunnan Provincial Academy of Agricultural Sciences, arrived in Dulongjiang Township in Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, in 2016 to help locals alleviate poverty.

Dulongjiang is home to the Dulong people, an ethnic minority group who have long endured poverty and limited access to the outside world.

In Dulongjiang, Yang guided the villagers to plant Amomum Tsao-ko, Chonglou and other medicinal herbs.

The academy where Yang works has built an herbal medicine cultivation technology demonstration base in Longyuan Village of Dulongjiang County. Many villagers have been trained at the grassroots level.

Jiang Jianhua is one of them. He earns a stable income of more than 100,000 yuan (about 15,700 US dollars) every year by planting herbs with the newly mastered techniques.

In Ainishan Township of Chuxiong Prefecture, half of the farmers grow medicinal herbs. The total area of ​​medicinal herb plantation exceeds 4,300 hectares.

Wang Guolei, one of them, earned 600,000 yuan last year.

“Our Chinese herbal medicines are making sales, but can also be made into medicinal foods, such as herb-cooked chicken and beef, to name a few,” Wang said. “Now there are four medicinal food restaurants in our townships.”

On March 7, Yunnan Province announced that it will establish 100 large-scale selection and cultivation bases of traditional Chinese medicinal materials and 50 selection and cultivation bases of geo-authentic medicinal materials.

Panax notoginseng is an example of Yunnan’s success in planting geo-authentic medicinal herbs. In Wenshan City, the seed yield of these medicinal materials was 720,000 kg in 2020, 90% of the national total.

Zhu Zhaoyun, a scholar from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is currently leading a project to use panax notoginseng in the treatment of heart disease.

“The development of Chinese medicinal materials is expected to improve its added value and application rate through modern science and technology,” she said.

“To develop the traditional Chinese medicine industry, there must be a large-scale planting of herbal medicines, which will lead to an increase in farmers’ income,” she said.

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