Shanxi Province celebrates 4th Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival

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Farmers enjoying the harvest. Photo: Hongqianhui Ma

Apple production and sales in Taigu District are booming this year.

Compared with previous years, apples are not only selling well in China but also high-quality varieties are being exported overseas.

Wei Liu, secretary of the Taigu District Committee of Jinzhong City, said this was mainly due to the good climatic conditions this year, which were very conducive to apple growth, and the adoption of new planting technology in the area.

“The apples in Taigu District are brightly coloured, fruity and sweet. At the same time, convenient transportation networks are helping the export of apples,” Liu said.

Xiaomin Zhang, a fruit tree guidance expert, said the increase in the apples harvest and the increase in quality is due to a new method using “paper bag technology”.

Farmer removing paper bags from apples. Photo Supplied: https://image.baidu.com)

“It is about putting kraft paper, black plastic bags and cling film on apples when they grow,” Zhang said. “The apple floor is covered with a silver reflective film. It reflects sunlight to the bottom of the apple, which is the part where the sun does not shine, achieving a full red effect.

“This not only prevents contamination and pest bites, but also ensures that the fruit is bright red and beautiful.”

Yonglin Cheng, an orchard worker from Ren village, Taigu District, said his village now has more than 4000 mu (about 266.667 hectares) of apple trees, with an average yield of 5000 kg per mu (about 0.165 hectares).

“The current market price for apples is about two yuan (about A$0.43) per 500 grams,” Cheng said. “This year, the revenue of Ren village from the sale of apples is expected to be about 80,000,000 yuan (about A$1,736,978.92)”.

The 4th China Farmers’ Harvest Festival is based on the theme of “Celebrating the Harvest”, carrying out a series of activities of farmers’ popular harvest, and promoting the creation of a strong atmosphere for farmers to celebrate the harvest.

The Taigu District Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Taigu District People’s Government jointly hosted the Harvest Festival in Taigu District from September 23 to 26, 2021.

It’s harvest time in the Taigu District. Photo: Hongqianhui Ma

During the festival, local farmers spontaneously organised a series of local village performances such as traditional opera, gongs and drums, and a square dance but also bonfires, Xingyiquan boxing and cultural heritage events.

“The Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival has stimulated farmers’ enthusiasm for production and allowed them to devote themselves to agricultural production and construction,” Liu said.

In recent days, Chaoyang Village, Hu village town in Taigu District, engaged in voluntary activities to help the farmers’ autumn harvest. Villagers collectively fund harvesters to help farmers harvest corn for free.

Hui Li, a local corn grower, said they now start work in the fields at five or six o’clock every morning.

“Every spring sowing season, the village gathers our information to help us focus on buying quality seeds and saving money,” Li said. “During the autumn harvest, the village organises us to queue up in advance to book the collective harvest based on information registered by farmers during spring farming.”

Deputy secretary of the Taigu District Committee, Xuan Li, said villagers collectively harvest corn to help improve corn harvesting efficiency.

“Depending on the area where farmers grow [corn], we take the form of collective harvesting operations to improve harvest efficiency,” he said.

“After the harvest, the village concentrates on transporting corn to the farmers’ doorstep, reducing the burden on the farmers. This can allow farmers to become more actively involved in the process of rural revitalisation.

“On a spiritual level, the Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival meets the needs of farmers for a better life. Farmers can show the results of their labour while at the same time enhancing the enthusiasm and confidence to build new countrysides.”

Corn grower checking his fields. Photo: Hongqianhui Ma

During the Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival, the Taigu District will also hold the 2021 Chinese Farmers Harvest Festival Shanxi Agricultural Brand Night; the Golden Autumn Harvest Festival; the Migrant Workers Singer Contest; and other festival activities.

It will also announce the selection and release of the province’s 2021 “Top 100 Grassroots Agricultural Technology Promoter” and the “Top 100 High-quality Farmers”.

With the festival activities and events, the Taigu District has worked to build an attractive rural demonstration area with rural industrial transformation and upgrading, win-win cooperation between village enterprises, and deep integration of local culture and tourism.

Hongqianhui Ma is currently studying Master of Media Practice at the University of Sydney. She is interested in new media, popular culture, and animals. Contact her at homa4531@uni.sydney.edu.au.