Starting from planting Jigu Cao---An enterprise story of an undergraduate who has offered jobs for 400 migrant workers
March 31,2010 15:59:44 readCount:1604
LIU Rui (left) talking with the peasants in the field
 
LIU Rui, a SCUT alumnus graduated in 2007, has never thought of making his first fortune and supporting more than 400 migrant workers by planting Jigu Cao (herba abri) and Liangfen Cao (Chinese mesona herb), which are two kinds of ordinary Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) familiar to Cantonese elderly as ingredients for soup-cooking with the effect of reducing internal heat according to traditional Chinese medicine.
 
Once a young cub who failed in finding himself a proper job after two unsuccessful tries in national civil service examination, Liu has now become the general manager of Xinyuan Chinese Herbal Medicine Professional Cooperative. Based in a north Guangdong county, the cooperative specializes in CHM planting and has over 230 farmer families joining in the enterprise. The total profit made in 2009 accounts for 3 million yuan.
 
In June, 2009, Liu was granted by the provincial government the title of Advanced Individual of Guangdong College Graduate's Innovative Undertaking. Recently he received the special undergraduate fund for his business.
 
"Lay a solid foundation and be ready for future development."
 
As a new graduate, it is very difficult to make a choice between getting employed and starting an undertaking. After serious consideration, Liu chose the latter.
 
Liu has been interested in CHM bionics wild cultivation. Considering the current situation of CHM's development in China, Liu believed in a promising market of planting CHM and came up with the idea of starting an undertaking in this line.
 
"Lay a solid foundation and be ready for future development." Liu wrote in his diary. He set out to study how to plant CHM and selected some kinds for experiment under the instruction of professional teachers from South China University of Agriculture. After one year's experiment and observation, he found that several CHM such as herba abri and Chinese mesona herb are adapted to the south China climate and have high yields. Moreover, they enjoys strong market demand and promising prospects. So Liu made his decision.
 
"Field work takes abundant energy and sweat."
 
At the end of 2007, Liu raised money and established a 50 mu experimental base for CHM cultivation at Jiangwei town, Wengyuan county. His business includes CHM cultivation, processing modernization and industrialization.
 
Only the first step is difficult. Starting from scratch, Liu experienced the bitterness of his first enterprise. As a graduate studying law, he spent a considerable long time to learn how to select proper CHM seeds. At last, Liu set up his CHM base with his own hands.
 
"Field work takes abundant energy and sweat." Liu learned this from his first experiences.
 
The day of June, 9, 2009 was thought to be extremely unusual to Liu. He wrote in his diary: "Though I have got the title of Advanced Individual of Guangdong College Graduate's Innovative Undertaking, I find myself not so excited. Actually, the award brought me more pressure, which I'm going to turn into stronger motivation and a new starting point."
 
"It's a right choice for me to return to my home countryside."
 
Wengyuan county is located in the mountain area of north Guangdong. Without any big enterprises, the local living standards remain in a semi-impoverished condition. To help more peasants get employed and increase their income, Liu established Xinyuan Chinese Herbal Medicine Professional Cooperative and became its general manager in November, 2008. The cooperative is operated under a mode combining company, base with peasants. To be specific, it offers seeds, fertilizers and technical instructions, while the peasants provide their fields and do the field work. All the outputs are purchased by the company at an agreed price. With low production cost and risks, the peasants are greatly mobilized in the production.
 
QIU Jingwei, a 43-year-old peasant, has three children. His family income was 10,000 yuan per year before 2008 and the money is far from enough to support his kids for education. At the beginning of 2009, he started growing CHM in his 12 mu fields. On the day of September, 20, he received 30,000 yuan for planting from Liu. With the money, he was happy to send the kids to a better school.
 
Up to now, there are more than 230 farmer families including over 400 farmer workers planting herba abri and Chinese mesona herb. The number of the total planting area has surpassed 900 mu. It is estimated that the product value made in each mu of field can be over 3,000 yuan and the total number for the whole year of 2009 can soar up to 3 million yuan. Exclusive of the cost, the farmer family can get 1,800 to 2,200 yuan per mu, making an income increase of 1.8 to 2.2 million yuan for all CHM planters. In 2010, the planting area will be extended to 6,000 mu and 3,000 farmer workers be employed. And the relative industries will be promoted meanwhile.
 
Liu said that the greatest happiness for him came from the smiles of peasants after harvest. He still remembered, once talking with them in the field, they said: "You are a responsible young man always with us peasants in mind." The words deeply touched Liu. He felt that it was a right choice for him to come back and start his own undertaking in the countryside.
 
Edited by HU Nanping and CHANG Wei
From SCUT News Network