"The roses will be in full bloom in about 10 days," said Nezhibirazhan Yusup, a young man from Kashgar city, northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, who has helped his village achieve prosperity by developing a rose industry.
Photo shows roses in Meigui village, Kashgar city, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Sun Tingwen)
Nezhibirazhan Yusup, 34, grew up in a village called Meigui, which means "rose" in English. After graduating from college in 2016, he established a cooperative to plant roses with six households from the village. Now, his village is home to over 1,200 mu (80 hectares) of rose fields, producing more than 40 tonnes of rose flowers a year.
The cooperative started by making rose petal jam. In the past, the homemade rose jam and naan bread were mostly consumed by the villagers themselves, instead of being sold for money. “Having majored in business administration, I believe e-commerce can help sell rose-related products," he said.
Some villagers work in a rose field in Meigui village, Kashgar city, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Sun Tingwen)
After his products became popular in the market, he developed more varieties such as mint jam. He also upgraded the jam bottle’s design by adding more cultural elements to make it more attractive. His products, including rose tea, rose essential oil, and jam are now sold in Guangzhou and Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province. "Our cooperative just received some clients from Shenzhen yesterday," he said.
The burgeoning business has brought tangible benefits to the rural households. Abdusopur, who plants 11 mu of roses, gains 3,000 to 4,000 yuan ($578) from each mu of land.
Seeing their parents in the cooperative, many young people participated in the sales team. "My father used to get up early in the morning to sell the roses in the fair, but after joining the cooperative, he can easily sell roses now," according to young salesperson Salam, who added that he was very happy to be part of the sales team which sells the roses his father grew.