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People are the key to village development | Yunnan Green Foundation visits Gaoba Miao Village in Ron

From November 29th to December 4th, Zhang Liping and Yin Yao, experts from Yunnan Green Environment Development Foundation, visited the Guizhou office of Zigen, and accompanied by rural development officer Yang Jian, visited villages and farmers in Rongjiang County to provide opinions and suggestions on project implementation.

During the discussion, the Guizhou team reported in detail on the development of Zigen, focusing on the series of projects launched by Zigen in China to promote "education for sustainable development" and the progress of the "Guizhou Gaoba Miao Village Women's Cooperative Ecological Agriculture Project". They visited the field and learned that Gaoba Village maintains a good traditional ecological agriculture model. Generally, herbicides are not used, pesticides and chemical fertilizers are rarely used, rice fields are used for fish farming, and cow, sheep, and pig manure and straw are used as fertilizer—exactly circular agriculture that combines plantation, animal husbandry, fishing, and processing. However, due to geographical reasons, there is little per capita arable land and small planting scales, uncontrollable market price changes, and limited agricultural income; the attractiveness to young and middle-aged laborers of staying in the village to develop agriculture is not high.

Zigen presented the idea of developing a green ecological Gaoba Village. The villagers expressed their concerns about lack of watermelon cultivation experience and the large yield gap, and their hopes for launching Gaoba Village’s green watermelons into the market. Zhang Liping and Yin Yao suggested that the village could carry out beekeeping learning and experiments, comparison experiments of planting methods, and monitoring of pesticide residues in agricultural products. They also put forward that the project's expectations and village development included not only ecological agriculture and ecological protection, but also more importantly human resources. The next step will be to carry out in-depth watermelon planting technology exchanges and training activities. Discussions will be organized with women and village leaders to understand the needs and ideas of the villagers including that of women, and to identify activists in village development and ecological agriculture.  

In the next step, starting from the support and training of rural sustainable development leaders in circular agriculture and other aspects, Zigen will continue to work with the Gaoba Village Committee and the local government to promote the cooperation and growth of village women, and ultimately the launch of the green eco-village in Gaoba.

Text / Yang Jian Photos / Yang Jian Ni Yongwang Yin Yao

Translated by Solo Tung, Communications Manager, Zigen Fund

Edited by Biklam Lee, Board Director, Zigen Fund.

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