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Introducing Sustainable Agricultural Techniques to Communities


Planting Medicianl Plant Under Rubber in Qingsong, Bawanling, Hainan

Wen Yong checking on the yizhi he plants under the rubber

The expansion of rubber farms is a major threat to China's tropical forests, such as the Bawangling National Nature Reserve in Hainan. Introducing sustainable practices is one of the approaches to curtail expansion of rubber farming. It ensures the benefits from existing rubber plantations are maximised without causing negative consequences to people or nature.

In Qingsong community on the east side of Bawangling, we are promoting the planting of the medicinal plant yizhi (Alpinia oxyphylla), Dumpling Leaves (Phrynium rheedie) and sharen (Amomum sp.), as understorey crops in their existing rubber plantation. These understorey crops are well adapted to shade, and are good cash crops.

Aside from diversifying income, the intercropping method has been proven to enhance efficiency in the use of land and labour as well as to prevent soil erosion. The result showed that understorey vegetation could prevent soil runoff, preserve moisture, increase organic matter in the soil and diversify the nutrient demands in the soil, for an overall net benefit. Crops under rubber will also deter the use of herbicides.  


Native Pig Production Programme in Qingsong, Bawanling, Hainan

Whilst KFBG generally promote eating less meat, we do help rural villagers to enhance their livelihoods through improved livestock production.

Qingsong is the village nearest to the famous Hainan gibbon of Bawangling National Nature Reserve. Villagers there rear the native Wujiao Pig (five feet pig), well-known for its good taste. However its growth rate has been extremely slow due to poor nutrition. Meanwhile, the village produces a lot of cassava that is sold at an extremely low price (RMB1/kg, dry). The pigs marketed at higher price (RMB 36/kg) can help increase villagers' income.

Kadoorie Conservation China Department improved the protein content of the cassava-based feed by mixing tree-leaf meal of the native goushu (Broussonetia papyrifera, Paper Mulberry) with a feed concentrate. The pigs grew faster and had leaner meat, with a feed conversion ratio of 4 feed to 1 meat. The goushu tree can also be planted on eroded hillsides, as part of a pig-feed garden and to reduce erosion. Protecting animal well-being during production is also one of our concerns. Deep-litter pens with play yards have been introduced so that the pigs can live in social groups and express their natural behaviours. This will be part of the production standards being set up to build the Naturally-raised Wujiao Pig brand.

Read more:

1. Farmers Joined Hands in Conserving the Hainan Gibbon