|A worker dries cocoons at a factory of Tongyixin, a silk producing company in Napo County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. [China Daily/Zhang Yi]|
Picking mulberry leaves to feed silkworms is part of the daily routine for Huang Jianhua and his wife in Napo County in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Selling cocoons to a silk factory has increased the annual income of Huang's family by 55,000 yuan ($7,330).
People in the county have been encouraged to raise silkworms to increase incomes in the past three years as the adequate rain and sunlight in the area are suitable for planting mulberry on a large scale.
The mulberry plantations in the county reached 8,600 hectares this year, involving about 15,500 households, including 5,363 poor households, official data show.
Li Guanli, director of the industry and information technology bureau of the county, said the silkworm industry has been built into a pillar industry for poverty alleviation.
Tongyixin, a silk producing company from Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, launched a factory in the county in 2017. With an investment of 300 million yuan, it can produce 500 metric tons of raw silk every year.
"We purchase farmers' cocoons to help them increase incomes. After the factory was established, farmers became more confident in planting mulberry and raising silkworms," said Liu Jianyun, general manager of the company.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the market price of silkworm cocoons fell this year, but the company purchased cocoons from farmers at the protective price required by government, Liu said.
Between January and August, the company purchased 1.88 million kilograms of silkworm cocoons from farmers, worth 73.5 million yuan, according to her.
By August, the company had received 20.9 million yuan of supporting funds from the local government for launching the industry, including for land use and training employees from poor families, according to Liu.
In the future, the company plans to build a digital printing line to make silk products to increase the added value of the industry and lift local farmers out of poverty, Liu said.
As of September, the factory had recruited 407 locals, including 113 poor people. With further expansion, it can offer 400 more jobs.
Wu Xiaoxing, a local villager, used to take care of her children at home and her husband went to cities to earn a living for the whole family. Since March last year, she has worked at the silk factory for a monthly salary of 3,000 yuan.
"It's a high income in the county. It only takes me five minutes to walk from home to the workplace," she said.
(Source: China Daily)
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