Gaoxigou Village, model of soil and
water conservation, ecological restoration
Web Editor:International Daily
The village of Gaoxigou in Mizhi County on China's Loess Plateau used to struggle with severe water and soil loss and poverty, but now it has turned into a major apple production base.The village in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, covering an area of four square kilometers, had been affected by severe water and soil erosion for ages. So the local government began to launch a massive water and soil conservation campaign in the 1950s."The natural condition of Gaoxigou Village was very harsh. Barren hills stretched everywhere, with flood waters in mountain gullies. The village was hit by natural disasters every year, with poor harvests in almost nine out of 10 years. Soil erosion here was serious. So it was indeed an arduous work to cope with nature. At that time, we had to work manually, using hoes, shovels, and rammers," said Gao Zhichang, a villager who took part in the campaign decades ago, stressing that they never gave up in delivering what they had promised.After decades of strenuous efforts, the village has found a unique ecological management model featuring appropriate proportions of woodland, grassland and farmland in land use. The village now is dubbed as "the little Jiangnan (area south of the Yangtz River) in northern Shaanxi"."We have prevented water and muds from flowing downstream. We began to make it in 1965. We have prevented silts of our four-square-kilometer village area from flowing into the lower reaches of the Yellow River after 30 years of efforts of two generations," Gao said.The village also plants other fruits and cash crops besides popular organic apples and develops eco-tourism. The annual per capita income of the village reached 18,851 yuan in 2020, much higher than the county's average of 5,834 yuan."As young people of a new generation, we will promote development on the basis of ecological protection. We will follow their good practice and make new achievements," said Niu Ju, a former village official.Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, on Monday visited Shaanxi's Yulin City.Xi learned about the progress in controlling soil erosion and advancing ecological conservation when visiting Gaoxigou Village.