The little county of Ninglang in Yunnan province is most well-known for its beautiful natural scenery. However, underneath the beauty, it is one of the few counties in the province still under the poverty line. Thanks to the Shanghai Aid to Yunnan Committee, much of that is about to change.
Lake and mountain in Ninglang [Photo/dp.pconline.com.cn]
Having a lucrative local economyis a key component of eradicating poverty, and chicken breeding plays a big role in Ninglang’s economy. Lu Xuanping has been breeding plateau chickens ever since 1992, and has been rather successful. By the end of 2018, the Shanghai Aid to Yunnan Committee came and offered to sell these plateau chickens in Shanghai – a dream come true for Lu. The committee told Lu that the plateau chickens are just what Shanghai citizens crave, and these chickens would have a high turnover rate given their desirability.
A plateau chicken. [Photo/www.sohu.com]
However, despite the committee’s multiple promotion attempts, the results were far from expected. With an annual yield of thirty-thousand, no more than 300 chickens were sold within two months: not even enough to break even.
Where was the problem?
Due to differences in culture and taste, the locals bred these chickens for their natural flavor which required older, leaner meat, different from the Shanghainese preference for tenderness.
Along with experienced chicken farmers, the committee then started to change the production of these chickens, moderating theirdiet, the duration of breeding, and the environment. The channel of distribution also shifted from big retailers to small, local markets. With these changes, the plateau chickens were able to reach satisfactory sales figures.
Lu’s plateau chickens are just one case of many, the committee also helped the county build green houses and drip irrigationin farms, and distributed the products in shanghai markets, hoping to lift this county out of the deprivations of poverty.
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