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Dried pickled mustard sold well abroad
Date:2023-03-13 17:40:22 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

This spring, Chen Qiping and his fellow villagers have been promoting sales of homemade dried pickled mustard. Not only has it been sold well domestically, but also been exported to the United States for the first time.

“Since customers needed the goods urgently, we started working on the third day of the Lunar New Year.”Recently, when journalists arrived at the origin of the dried pickled mustard--Taibian Village in Siqian She Ethnic Town, Taishun, they found Chen Qiping, the person in charge of the Nongxuan Agricultural Co., was busily sun-drying semi-finished dried pickled mustard with his workers under the sun. He took us around the factory to see how workers sort, wash, drain, pickle, and dry mustard... There are more than 30 workers in the company who come from villages nearby. They earn a monthly salary of around 4,000 yuan.

The little dried pickled mustard makes big money. Chen Qiping has spent more than 20 years in the industry of processing agricultural products to slowly figure out the tricks.

4,000 tons of mustard in need a year

Usually, 14 jin (500g=1jin) of fresh mustard makes 1 jin (500g) of dried pickled mustard. In the past three years, the dried pickled mustard of Nongxuan Agricultural company has been in short supply with 4,000 tons of fresh mustard in need per year. In order to increase the supply, the company places orders not only from local villagers who own 1,000 mu (66.7 hectares) of mustard crops in Taishun, but also from farmers of Bihu, Qingyuan in Lishui, and Zhenghe, Songxi in Fujian.

The 52-year-old Chen Qiping, used to sell Taishun bamboo shoots at the Wenzhou wholesale market. Later, more and more customers ordered dried pickled mustard from him. Coincidentally, farmers also found him, hoping to sell them to the Wenzhou market. To balance supply and demand, Chen Qiping began to purchase and sell them. By 2010, the annual sales volume reached 600,000 jin. During that time, Chen also discovered a problem: the quality of the dried marinated mustard collected from various places was uneven. In 2016, he returned to his hometown and tried to plant more than 100 mu of mustard, and then dried as well as marinated them into the products. “20 days after I sent this new batch of products to the customer, the customer called and said they hadn't seen such good dried marinated mustard in years.” Their feedback boosted Chen’s confidence.

Since 2016, Chen has begun to select and cultivate mustard seeds that were more qualified for making dried pickled mustard, placing planting orders with partners to whom Chen provided free seeds and planting techniques, and bought their products at a protective price. Today, the number of partners has increased to more than 200 households in 6 towns in Taishun. With the support of his hometown, the company also frequently invites science and technology correspondents to explain vegetable planting techniques and processing techniques of dried marinated mustard to partners.

“The mustards are planted in winter-free farmlands after the rice harvest. The harvest period is from December to next March, which does not affect the planting of the next rice crop. Moreover, it can increase the fertility of the rice fields." Chen's goal this year is to expand the planting area to 1500 mu in Taishun. "I hope more farmers will join us to increase their income. ”

8000 yuan/month not enough to recruit workers

Owning a production base and winning government support to expand storage warehouses, the company is busy producing dried pickled mustard all year round.

Currently, Chen Qiping and his wife have to take every step ranging from production, processing, sales, to delivery of the company's goods by themselves. “The biggest problem in rural areas now is the lack of young labor and qualified management personnel. Our children are university students in Hangzhou. They came back to help for a while last year and then went back.” Chen said that management positions in the company do not require high education levels, but they do require computer skills and endurance. Last year, he offered a monthly salary of 8000 yuan, hoping to recruit management personnel to assist him. Though young people applied occasionally, they could not stay for long. “The work schedule of many young people nowadays does not fit the company's schedule. Picking and washing vegetables usually start at five or six in the morning. Even though they can finish work around four in the afternoon, young people still cannot endure it,” Chen said.

Due to the lack of management personnel, coupled with the impact of the epidemic, Chen Qiping has been “stuck” in Taishun for the past few years. “In order to timely understand customers and update with their new needs, it is important to continuously improve and adjust production direction, keeping up with the new marketing trends when producing and processing agricultural products.” Chen plans to visit his old customers all over the country this year so he can have face-to-face communication and gain more first-hand information.

“Though profitability is not high, the development of agricultural industrialization is the only way to go in the future. As long as I have chosen this industry, I have to work hand in hand with farmers to move forward,” Chen said. The road ahead will definitely get broader and brighter.