China Focus: Young Chinese help drive rural vitalization with entrepreneurship
HEFEI, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- With a pleasant floral scent, He Chengtian, 31, is introducing various jasmine-themed products, including tea, bonsai and cosmetics, to visitors during the ongoing national mass entrepreneurship and innovation week.
The event, scheduled from Sept. 15 to 21, has attracted many young Chinese like He to show their achievements in mass entrepreneurship and innovation. Over 160 typical projects selected from around the country are showcased in Hefei of east China's Anhui Province, the main venue of this year's event.
Growing up in the countryside of Hengzhou City, dubbed the "hometown of jasmine in China," in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, he has a special love for the plant. Therefore, the young man returned to his hometown and started a jasmine business after college graduation in 2015.
"In my hometown, every family grows jasmine, but the villagers used to pick the fresh flowers and sell them in the market and the added value is very low. I wanted to go back to enhance the value of this local specialty and expand the market," said He.
After continuous efforts and innovation, he designed a number of jasmine-themed products and opened more than 10 shops on various e-commerce platforms. His products are also sold to customers across the nation through livestreaming.
"Now, our sales have reached 6 million yuan (about 865,000 U.S. dollars) a year. Compared with traditional farmers, we are familiar with new trends and technologies and thus have more innovative ways to promote products," said He, adding that his company has also created over 2,300 jobs for locals.
Rural vitalization is in full swing throughout China after the country eradicated absolute poverty. A growing number of young Chinese are heading back to their hometowns to contribute to rural development.
The number of young farmers born after 1995 on the e-commerce platform Pinduoduo has exceeded 126,000 by October 2021, nearly 100,000 more than that of 2019, according to a report released by the platform.
Over the past decade, some 11.2 million people have returned to China's rural areas to set up their own businesses, with each entity creating six to seven stable jobs on average, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
Wang Huang, a graduate from China Three Gorges University, started a business in 2018.
Together with five schoolmates, Wang established a biotechnology company that specializes in fungi culture with the help of his college professors.
Their products, such as mushroom, bamboo fungus and black fungus, are sold to school canteens and restaurants in Yichang City in central China's Hubei Province.
Under the promotion of the company, 12 different types of fungi have been cultivated in a total area of about 3,000 mu (200 hectares) in the country, helping create over 1,000 jobs. The annual output value reaches 62,000 yuan per mu.
"We hope to introduce a smart agricultural system into our greenhouses, so that all the growing conditions such as temperature, humidity and soil fertility can be monitored and controlled automatically, making the production more scientific and efficient," said Wang.
Themed "Innovation drives vitality; entrepreneurship creates employment," this year's national mass entrepreneurship and innovation week is seeing the launch of nearly 1,000 activities across the country, both online and offline.