Farmers harvest black fungi in Zhongshan county of Hezhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Zhongshan county in Hezhou, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, has stepped up its efforts to develop specific areas of agriculture in order to help relieve poverty.

Edible mushrooms and rice planting have been chosen for industrial agricultural development in Zhongshan county to create jobs and provide people with a stable income, according to the local government.

The county has established a cooperative for edible mushroom cultivation that includes 33 households living in poor conditions.

This year, the cooperative planted 13.33 hectares of black fungi, creating an estimated net profit of 5,000 yuan ($760) per mu (666.67 square meters). Members of the cooperative are expected to increase their income by more than 10,000 yuan per mu.

Black fungus production workshops in Zhongshan county offer jobs to locals and are prioritized for poor households, to allow them to earn a monthly salary of more than 2,000 yuan each.

The county’s rice planting industry involves more than 50 poor households, and is expected to yield more than 500 kilograms per mu, with an output value surpassing 1,200 yuan per mu.

In addition, each poor household in Zhongshan county receives a subsidy of 400 yuan per mu for planting rice.

The edible mushroom and rice planting industries in the county require a workforce of 200-300 people per day. As a result, local people can find a job in the county and have a monthly average salary ranging from 2,000-3,000 yuan per person.

Zhongshan county is working to further explore new industries, including catering and rural tourism, to inject more momentum into local poverty alleviation.