Posted In : News , China, China's economic stability, Deforestation, Environment, Golden Horse Award, Professor Virginia Li (Li Zhen), Tobacco, Tobacco Growers, Yunnan Province, Yuxi, Yuxi Cigarette Company
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Featured in the US National Library of Medicine, Bloomberg.com, and UCLA’s Center for Health Equity, Professor Virginia C. Li’s (Li Zhen) pilot program in China seems to be working.
In an effort to convince the highest producing tobacco country in the world that there are more advantageous ways to promote a healthy ecology and economy, Professor Li set up three test sites with 458 volunteer farmers in Yunnan Provence, Yuxi, China, to grow crops other than tobacco.
Why Yuxi? The Yuxi Cigarette Company is one of the biggest, most successful, companies in China. Since its rise in the 1980s, the company model has set standards and has won numerous awards including the “‘Golden Horse Award’ the highest honour for a national-level enterprise in China*”. That is an impressive accomplishment for a rural tobacco-growing district—one of the poorest provinces in the country.
Professor Li’s program is working. The volunteer farmers have been able to increase their income, reduce the amount of the many pesticides that are needed for tobacco growing, and many more trees were saved by not having to dry tobacco over wood-fired ovens.
You can see more good news about the pilot program and the great achievements being made in this video.
* Market-building as State-building in China’s Tobacco Industry. Page 132. Proquest. Google Books
Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Yunnan Farmland