Honeysuckle planting brings prosperity to village

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2020-07-28

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The cultivation of honeysuckle has boosted the incomes of farmers from Zuguan village, Huiqu town, Weifang, Shandong province. 

Yin Deqiang, a 72-year-old villager, planted 52 honeysuckles on a farmland covering about 666.67 square meters last March.


A farmer picks honeysuckle flowers in Zuguan village. [Photo/iqilu.com]

"Unexpectedly, the second crop of the flowers earned me nearly 5,000 yuan ($713.5)," Yin said.

 "I can earn nearly 10,000 yuan when I harvest all the honeysuckle flowers in this field, increasing my income from just growing corn and wheat by 50 percent."

Honeysuckle flower, or "jin yin hua" in Chinese, is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese herbology.

There are more than 30 honeysuckle growers like Yin in the village, all of whom are in their 70s. Thanks to a local cooperative, the villagers only need to care about planting honeysuckle and need not have to worry about selling it.


A villager works in a honeysuckle farm. [Photo/iqilu.com]

The cooperative has signed orders with a Chinese medicine company.

According to the company, Zuguan village plants a new variety of honeysuckle which contains higher levels of chlorogenic acid and luteolin-7-O-glucoside compared to traditional ones, with a market price higher by a third.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the price of dried honeysuckle flowers peaked at 300 yuan per kilogram.


The dried honeysuckle flowers can be used in Chinese medicine. [Photo/iqilu.com]

"Now, many people from surrounding villages come to our planting base to learn about the business," said a villager surnamed Li.

Wang Hongyan, the mayor of Huiqu town, said that there are currently 33.33 hectares of honeysuckle fields that generate 3.25 million yuan in revenue annually.

Huang said that Huiqu will further expand its planting efforts to increase the incomes of local farmers as well as raise its reputation as a town known for growing herbal medicine.


The honeysuckle planting base in Huiqu town [Photo/iqilu.com]