A sand-to-soil conversion method developed by Chinese scientists has proven effective in a large section of desert in northern China, local authorities said. Led by Professor Yi Zhijian, the research team from Chongqing Jiaotong University invented a paste made of plant cellulose that helps sand retain water, nutrients and air…Full Article: Xinhua Dec 2017

Key Points

  • According to local government officials from Inner Mongolia’s Alxa League, researchers from Chongqing Jiaotong University (Chongqing Municipality) converted 266 ha of the Ulan Buh Desert into arable land. The conversion cost ranges between CNY 22,500 to CNY 40,500 (USD 3,373 to USD 6,071) per hectare of land.
  • In March 2016, CQJTU researchers began testing their soil conversion technique on a 1.6 ha plot of land in the Ulan Buh Desert, Inner Mongolia Region.
  • In 2013, Chongqing Jiaotong University (CQJTU) researchers have been carrying out soil conversion experiments in Chongqing Municipality.

ChinaAg Comments

  • Located in Inner Mongolia just north of the Yellow River, the Ulan Buh Desert (UBD) stretches across Alashan League and Bayannur League covering ~14,000 sq. km. Suitable vegetation include sea buckthorn (i.e. Hippophae spp.), Caragana spp. and Salix spp. of plants.
  • In 2012, due to deteriorating grasslands for local cattle and sheep, the government of Alxa League promoted the production of the medicinal herb Cistanche deserticola as a means of financial support for farmers. The medicinal herb is a shrub-like desert plant that purportedly maintains kidney health when consumed. Cistanche deserticola is a parasitic plant that is main source of the TCM product Roucongrong (aka 肉苁蓉). The plant can be found in the northern Chinese desert regions of Gansu, Shaanxi, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Ningxia Hui, and Inner Mongolia (top producer). Harvesting occurs in the spring.
  • Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Inner Mongolia Region, Alxa Congrong (Group) focuses on the production and processing of Cistanche deserticola. The company reportedly had an annual production capacity of 300 MTs.
  • In 1978, China launched the Three-North Shelter Forest Program, the world’s largest ecological program that has since been dubbed the “Great Green Wall”. The program, slated to finish in 2050, is a mass afforestation project designed to plant trees along a serpentine route stretching 2,800 miles from Xinjiang to Heilongjiang.

Hong Kong Trends

Similar Posts by ChinaAg

Spread the word. Share this post!