Zhang Youwen, a 60-year-old farmer in Wuzhai county, Shanxi province, used to grow potatoes and corn on his small patch of land, just as his parents and grandparents had done. Although farmwork kept him busy for most of the year, he only earned a meager income that was barely enough to take care of his family.
However, Zhang’s life changed in 2017 when he decided to grow huangqi, or astragalus root, a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine, which helped increase his income to more than 10,000 yuan ($1,520), over triple what he earned before. Other farmers in the county have also turned to growing traditional Chinese herbs in recent years to lift themselves out of poverty.
Wuzhai, at an altitude of over 1,200 meters, has a cold climate, contributing to smaller crop yields than lower areas.
Read more at China Daily.