PhD student teaches villagers to grow potatoes, earning 7,000 yuan per 0.06 hectare
Published: Jun 27, 2022 04:33 PM
The black potato. Screenshot of Field Video

The "black potato". Screenshot of Field Video

Liu Lixia, a village Party secretary in Chengkou, Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, came up with the idea of growing black potatoes, black corn and black sweet potatoes in order to help villagers increase their incomes. At first, many villagers did not believe her. However, in June, 20 mu (1.3 hectares) of black potatoes were dug after trial planting, earning more than 7,000 yuan ($1,047) per mu.

Liu, a PhD student in condensed matter physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, volunteered to work in a village after graduation to help villagers raise their incomes. Liu said local people have a habit of growing potatoes, corn and sweet potatoes for their own consumption or to feed pigs. She encouraged villagers to develop special farming techniques. According to Liu, the seeds were distributed to farmers free of charge and farmers were promised a purchase. "We also invited experts to provide technical training for the farmers," Liu said.

Now there are nearly 40 households in the whole county trying to grow black plants. "When I first came to the village, people were skeptical of me because I was young and had no farming experience. However, doubts were dispelled after our success," Liu noted.