Attention to new residences, tea tourism to retain people? Yunnan Dayi explores a new path for rural revitalization on tea mountains
In February, just after the rainy season, in the early spring of Bulang Mountain in Menghai County, Xishuangbanna, the sun poured down and covered the hillside, and the green leaves of the tea trees shone brightly in the sun. With the advancement of the “Dayi Rural Revitalization Action”, the life of Brown tea farmers is just like the tea trees all over the mountain, full of vigor and prosperity.
Trees spit out spring buds, old houses are replaced with new ones, and the tea mountain is full of spring
It was early spring, located on Chashan Mountain in Menghai County, the main body of the first phase of the tea farmers’ housing renovation project was completed, and the painting was about to be delivered; the second phase of the project was fully launched, the old residence was demolished, and the land was being leveled; advance in an orderly manner. The first batch of new houses for tea farmers will be delivered in mid-March, and all new houses for tea farmers in Brown Mountain will be completed before the rainy season this year. At that time, the tea farmers will move into new houses, and the old houses within the red line of forest land and protected areas will be permanently demolished and green plants will be restored.
At the beginning of 2022, Zhang Yafeng, chairman of the Dayi Love Foundation, led several investigations and visited farmers to understand their living conditions and actual needs. After learning about the tea farmers’ poor housing and inconvenient electricity use, the “Dayi Rural Revitalization Action” was quickly implemented with love and a future-oriented approach.
In the same year, Yunnan Dayi Love Foundation and Yunnan Youth Development Foundation jointly launched the “Dayi Rural Revitalization Love Fund” and officially launched the “Dayi Rural Revitalization Action”. The “action” plan is to invest no less than 30 million yuan within 5 to 10 years to support tea farmers in Pu’er tea raw material production areas in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, especially foreign tea farmers in Menghai Pu’er tea production areas.
According to reports, the “action” will focus on improving the living conditions and quality of life of the 267 outdoor tea farmers, and bringing them more sense of gain and happiness through the improvement of water, electricity, and road facilities. At present, the first phase of the tea farmers’ housing renovation project is coming to an end. The construction of 11 tea farmers’ houses has been carried out for the Blang Township of the Hani Ethnic Group in Menghai County, and the construction of 15 tea farmers’ houses has been carried out for the Blang Township of the Blang Mountain.
Gao Yunfei, secretary-general of the Yunnan Dayi Love Foundation, who participated in and witnessed the “Dayi Rural Revitalization Action” all the way, said, “In 2023, the foundation will continue to promote the construction of tea farmers’ housing projects and water circuit projects. The second phase will be about 45 households. Tea farmers improve their living environment, build supporting facilities for residents who have moved to new homes, realize the three-way connection of water and electricity, and carry out projects to benefit farmers such as the construction of tea farmers’ canteens.”
The government-led foundation empowers rural revitalization for Qiaoduo
Thirty years ago, tea farmers in Menghai County started a mountain to grow tea. In order to facilitate the management of the tea garden, they built a simple shelter nearby. However, according to the new land planning, these residences are all within the scope of forest land, which does not conform to the land use regulations; in addition, the residences are scattered, and the facilities such as domestic electricity and sewage need to be improved urgently.
In order to standardize land use and facilitate the management of tea gardens by tea farmers, the land, forestry, and environmental protection departments of Xishuangbanna Prefecture and Menghai County have studied many times, and through accurate surveying and mapping, they have confirmed the scope of construction land that can be used to build new houses for tea farmers; It will be gradually demolished and restored to woodland. The main body of this tea farmer housing renovation project is the Yunnan Dayi Love Foundation.
Gao Yunfei said, “Yunnan Dayi Love Foundation has always insisted on focusing on the center and serving the overall situation, and actively played the role of social organizations in rural revitalization and promoting rural sustainable development. In the process of specific promotion of the project, we actively cooperated with the government and leading departments , gather social forces extensively, and strive to explore a path for social organizations to participate in rural revitalization work.”
Gao Yunfei and Zhang Baoqiang, a tea farmer in Brown Mountain, were filled with emotion when talking about the details of the first phase of the tea farmers’ new houses. When designing the blueprints of the new house, factors such as daily life, sewage treatment and power supply must be considered, and the wishes of the tea farmers must also be fully respected. The team of the foundation and the tea farmers communicated and adjusted repeatedly before finalizing the plan.
The tea farmer’s new residence is an independent two-storey small building with a total of more than 100 square meters. It has an independent kitchen and bathroom, unified water and power supply, and the wood-burning stove is gradually eliminated. For diversion, each household has a septic tank, and domestic sewage will be treated uniformly.
After the new house was built, the cement road led to the front of the house, and the tea farmers scattered in various tea gardens lived relatively concentratedly. Behind the house was a green tea garden, and in front of the house was full of green hills.
The main body of the first phase of the tea farmers’ housing renovation project in Brown Mountain has been completed
The tea farmers have a stable industry and hope that the Brown Tea Mountain will be full of vitality
On a clear February afternoon, the warm atmosphere on Brown Mountain. Tea farmers Li Gaihuan and Zhang Baoqiang were sitting in the open space in front of their old residence, with smiles on their faces. A new residence was being built ten meters away.
In 1993, in order to make a living, Li Gaihuan’s parents came to Brown Mountain to open up wasteland and grow tea. In order to facilitate the management of the tea garden, a simple residence was built beside the tea garden and became the first generation of tea farmers. This residence lasted for 30 years. Li Gaihuan was still a child when he came to Brown Mountain with his parents. Today, the eldest daughter of Li Gaihuan and Zhang Baoqiang is 12 years old, and the youngest son is 4 years old. Like tea trees all over the mountain, their family has already taken root in the fertile soil of Brown Mountain.
Brown Tea Mountain is more than an hour away from Menghai County on the mountain road. The tea trees all over the mountain, the tumbling sea of clouds, and the tea garden shrouded in mist in the morning make foreigners intoxicated. However, since there is no place for board and lodging on the tea mountain, tourists who come for sightseeing can only go back and forth on the same day.
Li Gaihuan and Zhang Baoqiang planned to free up several vacant rooms to receive tourists who came to Chashan and provide them with simple board and lodging. “Excluding the kitchen and bathroom, there are six rooms. In our new house, at least one room should be reserved for the tea room and one room for the guest room.” Li Gaihuan’s family is full of longing for the future.
Gao Yunfei said that after the completion of the housing renovation project for tea farmers, tea farmers will not only “rely on tea for food”, but also rely on tea mountain tourism to increase their income after they have new houses, and their lives will be better.
Talking about the changes in life in these years, Zhang Baoqiang said, “We have caught up with the good times. With the good policies of the government and the support of the foundation, we can live in the same ‘small western-style buildings’ as the city people in Chashan. Chashan The air is so good, you are welcome to come and walk around more to see our changes.”
Thirty years ago, they were foreigners here; thirty years later, the foreign land has long been their hometown. With the advancement of the tea farmers’ housing renovation project of the Dayi Love Foundation in Yunnan Province, the tea pickers in Bulang Mountain are ushering in a better new life. Standing on the tea mountain in early spring, the sun is pouring down the hillside, and the future life will grow vigorously like the tea trees all over the mountain. (Xu Haiyan)