The Menba people’s way to prosperity via tea cultivation

In Le Menba ethnic township of Cona County, Shannan City, Tibet, the locals have produced their own tea brand called “Lecang Lotus,” which has been a bestseller and made at least 2.05 million yuan (301, 900 US dollars) in 2017.

The township has an altitude of 2400 meters. About 90% of the residents there are of Menba ethnicity. According to Puba, the county chief, the county grows 693 mu (462, 000 square meters) of tea. As of the end of 2017, there have 210 mu (140, 000 square meters) of tea for picking. “Last year, the township has processed 8500 kg of tea, with varieties including green tea, black tea, and brick tea.”

Norbu Tsering, the manager of the Farmers & Herders Co-Op of the township, explained that by the end of 2017, the 132 farmers and herders in the county has each received an average of about 12 thousand yuan (1, 766 US dollars) of profit-sharing, with one family receiving more than 60 thousand yuan (8, 831 US dollars) in profit-sharing.

Guru, a 62-year-old villager, said he’s retired from working at the tea plantation. He earns five thousand yuan (736 US dollars) a month in retirement income, with the income from running a small store and family inn, his annual income totals more than 100 thousand yuan (14, 713US dollars), which enables his family to make a comfortable living.