Fighter turns desert into farmland

Updated: 2017-09-10 Print

The Kubuqi, China’s seventh largest desert, located in Ordos, Northwest China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, is turning into a land of green after years of effort and innovations made by the collectives and individuals.

Jia Tao, who was once was a civil servant in Dalad Banner in the middle of Kubuqi, is one of them.

She started to plant trees in the desert in the 1970s and found the survival rate was quite low. Then she started planting corn on sandy land on the edge of the Kubuqi desert after her retirement in 2002.

Jia poses for a photo beside her corn field. [Photos/ goordos.com]

Jia digs a hole for tree-planting.

Jia covered the sandy land with cow dung and red mud, which are considered good for agricultural production, then added nutrients to the soil with tailored organic fertilizers.

“The stalks can be used to feed sheep, and the sheep manure can be applied as fertilizer. In addition, the stalks, stubbles and other waste can protect the crops in storms or be fermented into fertilizer,” said Jia Tao, pleased to point out the harmonious circle.

However, she rarely mentioned her hardship.

“Jia and her husband Lei Ming have been cultivating the farm all year round,” said Qu Fuxiao, a worker on Jia’s farm.

“In the initial stage, I could hardly take a rest and had to have a nap in the shovel of a bulldozer,” Jia recalled, adding that the machine’s roof was always blown away by storms, which now never happens.

Local farmer Shi Yongqiang said the sandy land has become a demonstration area for desertification control through scientific farming, husbandry, and efforts to increase green coverage.