03-07-2007 08:10

Developing modern agriculture is China's top priority in building a new socialist countryside. And modern means efficiency, which means changing traditions. But even the best technology can't be implemented overnight. As our reporter Guo Liying finds, in the southern province of Guangdong, modern is as much about practice, as it is about technology.

Raising chickens is a common practice for Chinese farmers. The earnings supplement the meager income from farming the land.

But for thirty-year-old Tang Caixia, these chickens have brought her millions of yuan over the past four years.

Tang Caixia, farmer of Jianggao village, Guangdong, said, "I earn a net profit of 1.3 yuan a chicken. And I raise 400,000 chickens every year."

In 2006, the average per capita income for Chinese farmers was over 4,000 yuan. Ms. Tang made over a hundred times that amount.

And it was the brainchild of this man, Jiang Long, that made it all possible.

Four years ago, Jiang Long had the idea of setting up an economic cooperative to raise chickens. He wanted to create a link between farmers and markets.

Farmers sell their chickens to the cooperative and get free technology and animal feed. A contract protects farmers from any losses.

Jiang Long, director of Jianggao village, Guangdong, said, "The idea is to bring farmers together, and take advantage of a large-scale operation and market segmentation."

The terms are professional, but the idea is simple and the benefits are huge.

Over the past four years, the cooperative has helped half of the villagers increase their income by around 10,000 yuan.

Statistics show that economic cooperatives can bring an average increase of 500 yuan in annual income for each member.

Jianggao village is doing far better than this.

Today, the cooperative also does chicken meat production and processing. It provides over 100 million yuan a year for the village.

On top of that, their products have their own brand.