Ngawang sheep, weapon for poverty alleviation

Ngawang Township is located in the grasslands of eastern Tibet and has an average altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level. It is part of Gonjo County in Chamdo City, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

For thousands of years, nomads here have been engaged in raising and shepherding sheep. After efforts in systematic cultivation in recent years, Ngawang sheep has become famous for its good quality leather and its delicate, unique, flavorful, odorless meat. It is so popular that as soon as a product is released, it will be sold out.

Today, the average price is 4,500 yuan (657.8 US dollars) per Ngawang sheep. However, in 2015, there were 52,000 Ngawang sheepin in total and the average price for a sheep was only 350 yuan (51.2 US dollars). Many nomads believed that there were no future prospects in breeding Ngawang sheep, so they sold most of their sheep and tried to find other ways to make a living.

In recent years, the development, protection, and expansion of the Ngawang sheep industry has increased the number of Ngawang sheep in Gonjo County to 103,000, and the annual survival rate is over 90 percent.

To further develop the Ngawang sheep industry, Gonjo County is striving to preserve the origin of the Ngawang sheep and form the Ngawang sheep industry to make Ngawang sheep the "magic weapon" for alleviating poverty, from breeding sheep, to sheep mutton, wool, and even foraging and manure. Ngawang sheep have really become the "golden ticket" to the doors to a more well-off society.