In the snowy village of Lanlong, situated at an altitude of 3,500 meters in Sai’erlong township, Henan Mongolian autonomous county, northwest China’s Qinghai province, a group of “black pearls” were seen strolling, which made a picturesque scene.
“These are Xueduo yaks,” said Chang Ai, head of the village.
According to Chang Ai, Xueduo yaks are extraordinary. They have won over 30 championships in various competitions and included in the national list of livestock and poultry genetic resources. They are recognized as a national geographical indication product, and have obtained dual certifications for organic and green food in China.
This unique breed provides valuable resources for the development of animal husbandry in the local area, said Chang Ai.
Natural environment is fundamental to nurturing good breeds. A Xueduo yak, with its huge body, strong bones, and shiny fur, can weigh up to 800 kilograms. According to test results, its meat contains rich protein and amino acid, as well as various micronutrients, with clear muscle fiber patterns and moderate fat content.
These features are attributed to the abundant sunlight in the local area, as well as the high coverage of vegetation.
Leveraging its abundant resources, the locality has mapped out a development strategy focused on expanding and strengthening specialty agriculture and livestock industries, with a goal to build itself into a major base for green and organic agricultural and livestock products.
While developing featured industries, local authorities are focused on environmental sustainability by setting limits on resource usage and implementing initiatives to reduce environmental impact.
As livestock population increases, the balance between grass and livestock will reach a critical point. Should they continue to expand the scale and pursue quantity, or should they prioritize ecology and quality?
Local authorities put ecology at first and regularly launch monitoring of air, soil, and water quality to strengthen comprehensive prevention and control of agricultural pollution. This ensures that the development of animal husbandry is greener and the environment is better.
An official said that controlling the scale of yak herds ensures a sustainable supply of organic pasture and guarantees the quality of yaks.
Taking ecological environment protection as a foundation of developing featured industries based on local resources, it is important to utilize scientific knowledge, have long-term planning, adapt to local conditions, and respect for natural laws in order to continuously improve overall efficiency, the official explained.
In fact, ecological conservation and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive. Initially, some herders had complaints about the restrictions on unregulated livestock farming. However, they soon realized that even without setting up tents for grazing, their pockets could still be filled.
Local authorities implemented a unique model that integrates leading enterprises, cooperatives and herders to protect the genetic resources of local breeds. By investing their grasslands, capital or yaks in the village livestock cooperative, herders in Lanlong village can earn a collective income of millions of yuan each year.
Based on the actual characteristics of featured industries, the local area aims to give full play to the synergistic advantages of resource input, production methods, and cooperative models. This will drive high-quality development of the industries and ensure sustained benefits for local people.
Without the empowerment of modern agricultural industry, the Xueduo yak couldn’t have maximized its market value, despite its high quality. In order to transform the good breed into a successful brand and make it excel with its unique characteristics, efforts are continuously being made to extend the industrial chain.
In a modern factory of a local agricultural and animal husbandry technology and trading company, the production line is capable of producing 80,000 yak meat dumplings, 40,000 yak meat buns, and 500 kilograms of braised yak meat per hour.
By relying on relevant agricultural and animal husbandry technology companies, the locality has developed 114 products including yak milk coffee and yak collagen peptide, which have extended the value chain of organic animal husbandry.
By cultivating high-quality enterprises to lengthen the industrial chain and increase added value, traditional herders are allowed to share the benefits of modern industries.
It’s said in Henan Mongolian autonomous county that “Only by gaining a deep understanding of the featured industries and what makes them stand out, can we accelerate the pace of revitalization and development.”
The Xueduo yak, following a path of sustainable and organic development, serves as an inspiration. It shows how focusing on usefulness and cultivating distinctive local industries can activate development potential and increase people’s income.
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