Rice-fish cultivation helps relocated villages increase income
Zhufeng Village is located near Tianping Reservoir and now has over 230 people relocated from the reservoir area.
From 2021, supported by the local water conservancy technology service center, the village has focused on developing a comprehensive rice field planting and breeding industry.
It has introduced fish seedlings from Qingtian County, Zhejiang Province, and raised them in the rice fields. The high-quality fish and rice have been sold well in the market, which has brought benefits and income increase for the relocated people for consecutive years.
Field fish, also known as Oujiang colored carp, is a specialty in Qingtian County, and an excellent variety for rice-fish symbiosis. Zhufeng Village is a typical mountainous area, with its highest peak over 960 meters above sea level. It boasts lush vegetation and abundant water resources. The scattered fields are suitable for farming fish.
In 2021, the village introduced this kind of fish fry from Qingtian County for the first time, and developed 101-mu (about 6.73 hectares) fields for rice-fish cultivation. Afterwards, it has scaled up this industry year by year, reaching 300 mu (20 hectares).
The fish is sold on the market from the Mid-autumn Festival to the Spring Festival every year, with a retail price of 80 yuan per kilogram. It’s sold to Loudi, Ningxiang and other places. Many customers even come to buy the fish in the village. And the village has signed long-term supply agreements with two hotels.
The rice is also of high-quality variety and without pesticides and fertilizers, which has been widely praised by customers, with a retail price of 19.6 yuan per kilogram.
The local water conservancy technology service center of Ningxiang City has provided strong supports for the rice-fish cultivation in Zhufeng Village.
Over the past three years, support funds of 2 million yuan have been provided, boosting the confidence about the industrial development in infrastructure construction and the introduction of high-quality varieties.
At the same time, the center also gives on-site inspections and guidance at least 6 times a year.
Zhufeng Village has established a specialized team and Renli Land Professional Cooperative for the daily operation and management of the rice-fish cultivation industry.
With the help of the sci-tech experts of the Hunan Fisheries Science Institute, continuous breakthroughs have been made in relevant technologies, contributing to increasing benefits.
At the end of June this year, about 60,000 fish fry were put into the fields, of which more than 10,000 were cultivated by the village. And the yield of fish per mu (0.067 hectares) is expected to increase from 20 kg in 2021 to 30 kg this year.
“Now, among the newly-released fish this year, the weight each is already 150 g, which will reach 300g before the Spring Festival,” said Luo Xiaolin, secretary of Zhufeng Village, noting that after the rice harvest, they would seize the time to store water and raise fish in the fields. The rice fish is an omnivorous fish, and the rice and various grasses, insects, etc. in the fields will become organic food for these fish.
With the help of rice drying equipment, the rice in the base of Zhufeng Village has been harvested in an orderly manner. It’s estimated that the rice yield per mu (0.067 hectares) is 400 kg, and the total rice yield is expected to be close to 60,000 kg.
Plus the fish raised in the rice fields, the total output vale of the 300 mu (20 hectares) base is expected to reach 1.6 million yuan. The output value per mu is expected to be over 3,400 yuan more than that of local rice fields planted with ordinary rice varieties.
The interest linkage mechanism built by the comprehensive rice farming industry in Zhufeng Village has become increasingly stable, and the goal of continuous income increase for the whole village, the relocated people in the reservoir area, and the village collective economy has been achieved.
Through this industry, the relocated people in the whole village received dividends of 7,680 yuan and 28,160 yuan in 2021 and 2022 respectively. This year’s dividends are expected to reach 51,200 yuan.
Next, the village will strive to create a distinctive rice-fish farming brand, making it play a more long-term and important role in increasing people’ income.