Flying out of poverty with the help of cicadas

(| Updated : 2019-07-23

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Zhang Shubiao collects cicadas in his breeding base in the evening. [Photo/IC]

Zhang Shubiao, was formerly unemployed, when he discovered an opportunity in raising cicadas in East China's Shandong province.

Zhang got into the business just by chance. Though he had been laid-off, over the past six years, Zhang has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience to become an expert on breeding golden cicada, and is called the "king of raising cicada" in Yangxin county.

The cicada, whose voice marks summer's arrival, is a highly valued insect in Chinese culture and has even become a delicacy, since the Chinese believe that it only drinks juice from trees and eats no other "unclean" foods.

With Zhang's help, Yangxin has now become one of the biggest golden cicada markets in China, with a daily trading volume of up to 20 tons. For the future, Zhang hopes more breeding bases could be set up across the country, helping lift more people out of poverty.


Zhang uses twigs to breed cicadas, which improves hatching rate. [Photo/IC] 


Containers used to collect cicadas are stacked together outside. [Photo/IC] 


Zhang Shubiao's wife poses for a photo in Yangxin county, Shandong province. [Photo/IC] 


People visit Zhang Shubiao's breeding base. [Photo/IC] 


Zhang Shubiao introduces breeding methods to customers. [Photo/IC] 


A cicada is pictured in Zhang's breeding base in Yangxin county, Shandong province.[Photo/IC]