Tibet: technology greatly boosts agriculture and animal husbandry

Tibet has been increasing its efforts for new innovation in science and technology in recent years, promoting the acceleration of development to the agriculture and animal husbandry industries and spurring an increase in revenue for farmers and herdsmen.

Data shows that science and technology has contributed to a growth rate of 45 percent in Tibet’s agriculture and animal husbandry industries.

"Tibetan Barley 2000” is the new variety of highland barley seed that the Tibet Academy of Agricultural Sciences has been breeding for the last 19 years, increasing production by 25 kilograms per one mu (.0667 hectares) of land. In the last five years, the total area of highland barley plants extended to 1.335 million mus, driving a revenue increase of 150 million yuan (24.2 million US dollars) for farmers and herdsman.

According to Gangqing, head of the Tibet Autonomous Region Science and Technology Department, in the last five years, Tibet has focused on breeding highland barley to increase efforts for new innovation in the agriculture and animal husbandry industries, investing a total of 54.37 million yuan (8.8 million US dollars), focusing on solving the key technology bottleneck problem in industrializing highland barley, pasture grass, yaks, sheep, Tibetan pigs and other developing products, and breeding 16 new seed varieties represented by “Dark blue 2000”.

Drolma Tseleg is the founder of the “Grandmother” brand of highland barley biscuits. In 2011, he and his team established the Tibet Grandmother Biscuit Art Biotechnology Co., Ltd., whose main products are highland barley biscuits, bread, mooncakes, and sweet pastries. At present, they have been awarded three patents for highland barley biscuit production processes.

Drolma Tseleg said, “Only by strengthening research and innovation and performing good processing techniques will we be able to make great highland barley products.”

Nyima, head of the Tibet Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Industrialization Department, said that as a result of accelerating the construction of a base for agricultural products characteristic to the plateau, the processing level for highland barley food products, yak meat, Tibetan chicken, Tibetan pork and other agricultural products rapidly increased, forming an agricultural brand that aims to reach the rest of the world, and achieving a win-win situation of “businesses increase profits and farmers increase revenue”.

Logging in to the Tibet Store on Jingdong Mall online, one can see positive user reviews for the superb collection of Tibetan agricultural products, such as matsutake mushrooms, Tibetan saffron, and yak products.

Yeshe Lhamo from Zayul Township in Nyingchi opened an online Taobao store in July of last year, in which she manages a business selling wild local products.She said, “Previously, these local products were only able to be bought and sold in the county town, and sales volume was average. In more than half a year’s time, the total income from sales is nearly 30,000 yuan, far more than I could have imagined.”

Data shows that in 2015, there were more than 1,200 shops registered on the very active Taobao Tibet Store website.