hs and farmers' wallets in SW China04-26-2018 09:52 BJTKnown as the preferred diet of the giant panda, bambo
o is now sprouting as an important plant to help the impoverished shake off poverty in southwest China.Fang Yongqi dropped out of school w▓hen he was 14 because his family couldn't afford tuition fees. He had to learn ▓to carve bamboo roots to make a living. Alt▓hough surrounded by bamboo forests, neither he nor other villagers fully realized the value of bamboo.As more tourists come to see
the beautiful▓ scenery of the bamboo forests, Fang can now earned more than one million yuan (158,000 U.S.
dollars) by ▓selling his bamboo work every year.In Ba▓ijie Town, villagers cultivate bamboo fungus, or c▓rinoline stinkhorn, a delicacy in some Asian countr▓ies, which grows in well-rotted bamboo.Long Chaogui, 49, once a migrant worker, decided to stay in the village and develop his own bamboo
business.In the eyes of Long, bamboo is the "golden key" to change his hard life.▓ He sold bamboo and bamboo shoots at first, and finally grew bamboo fungus, which brought him more than 400,000 yuan last year. Long is now planning to expand
his business this year.Since there is a high demand for this kind of mu▓shroom, other villagers have follow▓ed suit to develop bamboo-related busin▓ess.The bamboo have also attracted businesses to Sichuan. Bamboo has been developed as a raw material to prodJohny - to understand i
uce paper, charcoal, wine and fiber products. Those products increase em
ployment and incomes for local residents."With the largest area of ba▓mboo forests of any province, the b▓amboo industry has become a pillar industry ▓in some regions of Sichuan. Total output has reached one billion yuan," said Ma Ping, an official with the provincial forestry department.There are more than 1.16 million hectares of commercial bamboo plantations in the province, which is also the habitat of nearly 1,800 giant pandas.Chen Yingjun, a farmer in Wolong Town in southwest Chin▓a's Sichuan Province, used to grow potato and corn, but his life has greatly i