Reported by Zhou Ronghua and Li Fayang（www.xnnews.com.cn）
On Mar 26th, the leaders of the State Forestry Administration and Forestry Hall of Hubei province, investigated in Jiayu County and spoke highly of the local fast-growing high-yield plantation construction.
On April 7th, hundreds of delegates across the country gathered in Jiayu, to convene a national conference about the acceptance of returning farmland to forest project in 2010.
Jiayu, located in the alluvial plain of the Yangtze River, is known as "land of fish and rice", "home of vegetable". It has no inherent advantages to develop the forestry, with the mountain area accounting for only 10% of the County's land area. However, just in this small plain county, forest coverage rate is now up to 25.8%, far more than the greening rate standard (15%) in plain region; it has won the honor of "National green standards county in plain ", "Advanced County in voluntary tree planting", "Advanced unit of afforestation and greening" and" the model of a greening county in Hubei province" etc. At present, it is striving for the "National model of an afforestation county".
Liu Haijun, a member of the standing committee and the secretary of Jiayu County Party Committee, said, "we have developed the distinctive forestry in line with local conditions, and worked out a modern forestry way of Jiayu characteristic".
For the adjustment to local conditions, the plain has developed into an oasis.
On Mar 31st, our reporters drove to Jiayu dyke, and on both sides of which were extensive poplars, with green leaves fluttering. Like a mighty guards, these trees protected the Yangtze River levee day and night.
Jiang Maojiang, the deputy director of Jiayu County Forestry Bureau, introduced that the Yangtze golden waterway stretches across Jiayu 120 kilometers, from Hongmiao of Luxi Town down to the sand castle of Paizhou bay. Poplars are not only planted on both sides of the dyke ,but also in the nine beach islands, such as the Fuxing Chau, Ping′an Chau, Guiliang Chau, Huxian Chau, which have turned into "an oasis".
Afforestation in the plain is Jiayu's unique scenery.
How to develop forestry in this plain county? The county party committee and government of Jiayu adjust measures to local conditions, and make great efforts in the plain afforestation.
They have issued the "Decision on accelerating the forestry development" and made the "Ten-year planning for the forestry development of Jiayu". The scientific plan for five forestry boards, including the fast-growing and high-yield plantation, efficient economy forest, ecological forest, green seedlings, and forest park, has made it a clear target to build a characteristic base of 400,000 acres of forestry.
With the mobilization of the county party committee and government，Jiayu has raised a afforestation boom, like the plain with poplars, economic forest in hilly ,urban ecological forest, and road landscape forest, since the devastating floods of Yangtze River in 1998. There are almost no restricted areas for afforestation in Jiayu.
Today, all over the Jiayu plain is green. The county has formed a pattern of Lake Forest, poplar tablets on ditch, road and causeway poplar forest, farmland with poplar forest. It has also built a stretch of Yangtze River shelterbelt of about120km-long and the road forest network belt of about 256km-long. The scale of poplar forest base has been up to 220,000 acres.
Innovation of development mechanism made a spurt on the progress of private forestry.
In Jiayu, private afforestation was a characteristic of forestry. Afforestation bosses were throughout all levels of society.
For example, Tong Huadong, a farmer of Xinjie town, once opened a flower shop and engaged in gardening, was one of them. In 2002, Zixing Chau was a large sandbank and almost barren after a great flood, but he contracted the 30-year operating right of its nearly 5000 acres. In recent ten years, he has invested about 300,000 Yuan to plant 1500 acres of poplar forest on it. Eventually, the desolated chau has gradually become a vibrant "oasis". According to him, mature poplar can probably sell 15 million Yuan after 4to 5 years. Since 2008, he had invested about 2,000,000 Yuan starting the cement factory, contracting the construction projects. He bought a private car last year and his life was better and better.
"Afforestation is good for the country and self-serving. The larger area you plant, the more benefits you will have. My good life today derives from forestry." said he.
Afforestation cannot thrive up merely depending on the government. The County Party Committee and Government of Jiayu developed the mechanism of forestry, trying to attract all levels of society to participate in afforestation. They also implemented one mechanism, namely "separation of ownership, management buyout, judicial notary, benefits sharing", so as to promote the private forestry.
With the stimulation of mechanism, farmers, urban residents, brainpowers, private owners, and civil servants or government cadres in Jiayu have taken various means, like the buyout, contraction, cooperation, equity investment etc, into the forestry development.
In Paizhou Bay, 36 individuals and private households obtained the right to operate the shelterbelts about 41.5 km on both sides of river banks, planting 510, 000 poplars.
In Xinjie Town, Yang Xinhua, the former deputy manager of County timber company, once buyout 30-year operating right of Fuxing Chau Bund right and invested 200,000 million Yuan to create 800 acres of poplar forest.
In Pudu Town, Chen Gexin and other 11 farmers staked in the joint investment of more than 200,000 Yuan to build 350 acres of apollonian base.
Statistics show that during five years, Jiayu has utilized many projects, like the Yangtze River shelterbelt, the World Bank loan for afforestation and schistosomiasis control forestation, to the afforestation of 23 million acres; there are 312 people planting more than 100 acres, and a total investment is up to 60 billion Yuan.
The project of returning farmland to forest contributes to green Jiayu with might double.
On Mar 31st, along the Jiayu Lake Hot Spring Resorts towards east about 2km, our reporters came to demonstration bases for the project of returning farmland to forest of Shi Jingpu village in Yuyue Town. Coming into their eyes were a huge sassafras, planted with the Jiangnan alder, Liriodendron Chinese, fragrant camphor trees and phyllostachys pubescens , several pheasants hunting freely in the forest, and visitors driving in and out the mountain in the direction of the farm from time to time.
Surrounded by three lakes with connected rivers, this village has returned farmland to forest area of over 2,500 acres. Currently, the average diameter of trees is up to 14 cm in diameter, average height is 9 meters; the existing value is about 900,000 Yuan.
"The second group, third small class of Shi Jingpu village has returned farmland to forest area of 239 acres. Relying on the green resources, farmers raise pigs, chicken, ducks, and fish in the forest. They have also built five margin Chinese farms in these two years, Yuhua farms and Baiyun village included." Jiang Maojiang said, the base has deep dug fish pond of high standards essential nursery more than 20 acres, stocked over 1000 pheasants and 300 ducks which have benefited the annual comprehensive economic more than 150,000 Yuan, increased 600 Yuan to peasants′ income as well.
Undoubtedly, Shi Jingpu village has become a successful model of the project of returning farmland to forest in Jiayu.
"The development of forestry benefits from the returning farmland to forest project and country's support." said Xia Fuqing, the magistrate of Jiayu.
For Jiayu′ s forestry suffered a flood disaster in 1998, it was a godsend that China carried out the returning farmland to forest project in 2002. The county party committee and government seized this opportunity to fully implement the project of returning farmland to forest in important places, such as the Yangtze River Basin, the main lakes, reservoirs and ecological locations. For nine years, the county has completed a total afforestation of 122,000 acres, and 20,000 of which is the economic forest focusing on peaches, plums, citrus, and loquats. National investment, as the accessorial capital to Jiayu′s returning farmland to forest, was RMB 81million Yuan and per household benefited RMB 6760 Yuan.
"Since the nine-year implementation of the project of returning farmland to forest, Jiayu has output over 200,000 labors, directly generating income about 600 million Yuan and it has added vivid stumpage 6 million cubic meters, which can increase the economic income about 360 million Yuan; only last year, the economic forest helped farmers increase income 30 million Yuan." said Yin Binsheng, a Forestry Bureau director of Jiayu.
Leading enterprises lead to the industrial construction booming.
Integrated ecology into the industrial construction, they thrive together. Relying on forestry projects to build a green ecological Jiayu has been an indefatigable work of the County Party Committee and Government in recent years.
On March 31st, our reporters saw that a continuous stream of vehicles transferred wooden floor back and forth in Hubei Onesure Wood Co, Ltd located in Jiayu suburb. The company, introduced by Jiayu in 2005, brought in the German first-class production line to produce the compound wood floor. The general manager Zhu Guangyong stated that it has been well-run in Jiayu. Last year, it achieved output value of 160 million Yuan and paid tax of 1 million Yuan.
"Based on the favorable development environment and rich poplar resources, our total investment in the being-built solid wood composite floor production lines, amounts to 180million Yuan." he told reporters, the new production line has completed an investment of 60 million. It is expected to put into production in September this year, and consume wood about 120,000 cubic meters per year. Basically, local poplars can meet the needs.
Driven by the Hubei Onesure Wood Co, Ltd as the leading forestry enterprise, Jiayu has built 22 forest products processing enterprises, like the Gold-Good Wood and Xiongwei Wood. They directly stimulated the employment more than 2,000 people. Last year, its forestry output value reached 400 million Yuan.
Together with the traditional wood processing industry, emerging flint base is also quietly thriving in Jiayu.
Playing a radiation role in the new rural construction, the Field Group took the "industry-driven" approach to build thousands-acres high quality camellia base. On March 31st, reporters saw at the base, the brown-yellow land newly dug out was boundless, and camellia seedlings thrived in the moisture of spring rain.
"The camellia base didn’t start plowing until last December，but now it has planted seedlings of 5,000 acres in accordance with the standard of scientific cultivation. "The Public Secretary of Forestry Bureau Xiang Caiguo told reporters, camellia oleifera base will be into full productive age five years later, while annual net income can reach around 22.5 million Yuan and local peasants' per capita annual income can increase around 1500 Yuan.
Now, forestry industry in Jiayu gets bigger and bigger. It has preliminary formed a virtuous development trend combined with seeding, planting, timber processing, and sales.
One prosperous industry promoted one hundred industries. The forestry development has not only optimized for Jiayu’s environment and created a huge ecological benefit, but also drove other industries. Depending on the beautiful Niutoushan Forest Park, Jiayu attracted foreign capital investment of 600 million Yuan to complete the three lakes hot spring resort in the three-lakes-connected-with the-river area. Its current tourists reached more than 2,000 each day. Forest tourism, eco-tourism, and rural tourism have become important industries of local economic development.
Inspired by the green industry, Jiayu, a shining pearl embedded in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, is bringing out its unlimited vigor and charm.