On December 21, Zhang Yatao was picking mushrooms in the shed.
"The quality of shiitake mushrooms this year is better than last year, and the output is also high," said Zhang cheerfully. "The peak picking season is coming soon. More than 10,000 kilograms of shiitake mushrooms can be produced every day." The planting base is located in Houer village of Dongsanzhao Township in Xingtai City, north China's Hebei Province. Workers are picking, packing, and transporting skillfully, making for a really busy scene.
Zhang Yatao, 35, is from this village. After graduating from University, he has been working in Chengdu and engaged in design work. In 2020, Zhang learned that there were broad prospects for edible fungi cultivation. After investigations, Zhang returned home for mushroom cultivation, set up his own business, and became a "new farmer".
From cultivation, daily management, and protection to market development, Zhang had to start from scratch. The local government coordinated technicians to provide guidance and helped him solve many tough problems. After nearly two years of operation, Zhang opened the market, developed a number of steady customers in surrounding cities, and gradually became a famous local mushroom planting "expert".
With the support of the government, Zhang further expanded the planting scale, led the surrounding villagers to develop the mushroom industry together through the business model of "company + cooperative + farmers", and built cold storage and special fungus cultivating shed to provide nearly 100 jobs for nearby villagers.
For future development, Zhang has a clear goal in mind: "I was raised in the countryside as a rural boy. I hope to aid more villagers to get rich through the mushroom industry and live a better life on the road to rural revitalization."
(Photo by Zhu Xudong/Xinhua)