Farmers in China busy starting seeds in greenhouses, prepare for spring ploughing

Turpan is the first place in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to see warm temperatures. The city is famous for its delectable fruits, including grapes, apricots and cantaloupes. And now, it is the season to grow watermelons. Local farmers have been busy germinating watermelon seeds and grafting seedlings in greenhouses since last month. CGTN visits the greenhouses in Turpan to learn more about farmers’ preparation work.

China has unveiled its “No.1 Central Document” for the year, a key policy document on the country’s agricultural and rural affairs. It highlights China’s determination for rural vitalization and puts emphasis on securing agricultural supplies and production. As the temperature rises, some areas of the country are preparing for the upcoming spring ploughing. In Xinjiang’s Turpan, farmers have been busy starting seeds in greenhouses. Our reporter Huang Yue has more.

A traditional Chinese saying goes “the whole year’s work depends on a good start in spring.” Xinjiang’s Turpan is famous for its delectable fruits – including grapes, apricots, and cantaloupes. And now, it’s the season to grow watermelons.

Local farmers have been busy germinating watermelon seeds and grafting seedlings in greenhouses since last month.

JAPAR NIYAZ, Turpan farmer “This year, I’ve built six greenhouses to grow one million seedlings, including watermelons and sweet melons. They will all be ready before March. I can earn about 200-thousand yuan by growing these melons this season.”

Farmers say in the past, they would hire workers from other provinces to do the grafting. But Turpan has organized training sessions for local farmers since December, so that more villagers have learned the skill, which can avoid the costs and increase their income.

GULSUMU JAPAR, Turpan farmer “I’m skilful, so I can do it fast. I can graft about 8,000 seedlings every day. That means I earn about 400 yuan per day.”

Located in a basin, Turpan is the first place in Xinjiang to see warm temperatures. And that’s why many farmers even come from afar to start seeds here.

HUANG QIUHUAN, Farmer from Changji, Xinjiang “I have 200 hectares of fields in Changji where it’s still freezing cold these days. But it’s already about 10 degrees Celsius in Turpan. Seedlings don’t need heating here and they grow fast.”

HUANG YUE, Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region “Take a look at this seedling. Half a month ago, it was still very small, but it’s grown quickly because the greenhouse provides the ideal environment – the right temperature, water and fertilizer. And farmers here tell me that in just a week, these seedlings will be planted in soil outside when the weather is favorable.”

The whole city of Turpan has grown 120 million seedlings this year, including vegetables and fruits. With the preparation work underway, farmers are ready for the spring ploughing coming in March, and hope their hard work pays off with a bumper harvest.

Huang Yue, CGTN, Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

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