【Journey to the West of Xizang】Hard Working Creates a Rich Life

It is warm and we can hear the sounds of metal clashing in the spacious and bright iron furnace processing plant in Gyangkar Village, Qabka Town, Ngamring County, Xigaze, Xizang Autonomous Region. The villagers are making the Gyangkar iron furnace liked by people in the surrounding areas with the traditional craftsmanship here.

In the picture, the villagers of Gyangkar Village, Qabka Town, Ngamring County, Xigaze, Xizang Autonomous Region are making Gyangkar iron furnaces.

According to the villagers, the making of iron furnaces in Gyangkar Village has a long history. Because of reasonable design, solid materials, and perfect workmanship, they are recognized by people in the surrounding areas. The products are even sold to Ngari Prefecture several hundreds of kilometers away.

In the past, the Gyangkar iron furnace was completely made by hand. Villagers made them at home, respectively. Now, led by the village Party branch, with the help of cadres sent to aid Xizang from Shandong Province, the village has established the processing cooperative of iron furnace in the village and built a warm and tall processing plant of the traditional iron furnace processing industry in the village. The construction of the plant started in April 2023 and was completed in October of the same year, benefiting more than 100 households in Gyangkar Village. The processing plant has introduced a lot of machines and equipment, bringing modern technology to traditional skills, greatly improving the quality of Gyangkar iron furnaces and making the production cycle shorter.

“The most fundamental of rural revitalization is that we believe villages are revitalized if industries prosper. According to local characteristics, we have created the standard plant for the characteristic iron furnace processing industry and concentrated all the scattered iron furnace processing workshops in the whole village in the plant for normalized production, improving the human settlement and developing the pillar industry.” said Wang Jiansheng, Deputy Director of the Development and Reform Commission of Ngamring County and cadres sent to aid Xizang from Zibo, Shandong Province. In this way, it not only is more convenient to manage the quality control of iron furnaces but also can help to eliminate hidden dangers and ensure safe production.

Besides, Wang Jiansheng believed that the competitiveness of products can be enhanced and a “rural revitalization” model can be created through centralized and unified management of production and operation. “At present, as a local characteristic handicraft product, the Gyangkar iron furnace has not gone global, with limited influence and insufficient brand effect. We have invited a design company in the Chinese mainland to help the cooperative design the trademark, which is being registered now. If the registration is successful, we intend to further enhance the competitiveness of the brand through all kinds of channels in the next step.”

People have the willingness and cadres make outstanding achievements. The Cooperative of Iron Furnace Processing of Gyangkar Village is booming. Currently, the cooperative has a total of 28 employees and the average annual production is more than 500 Gyangkar iron furnaces. In 2023, the cooperative sold 440 iron furnaces, with a total income of RMB402,000 and a net income of RMB158,000. The villagers have realized income increases in the slack season in winter and working near their homes without leaving their hometown.

In the picture is a small pure copper furnace made by villagers in Gyangkar Village, Ngamring County, Xigaze, Xizang Autonomous Region.

The villagers had more money and worked harder. They actively studied the new user demands brought by the development of the times and developed an exquisite small furnace on the table made of pure copper and other new products.

In the picture is the Special Product Exhibition Center built in Gyangkar Village, Ngamring County, Xigaze, Xizang Autonomous Region.

A beautiful life is created by hard-working hands. The Gyangkar iron furnace, new cultural and creative porcelain, agricultural, farm products and pasture products, and others will be exhibited and sold in the Special Product Exhibition Center that is newly built in Gyangkar Village in the future. The villagers of Gyangkar Village have great anticipation for the future.