Damijie Village gets rich via vine tea

By Li Liandi | Updated : Nov 24, 2021
Damijie Village is a high-altitude mountain village located in the high mountains in the west of Yongding District and adjacent to Yongshun and Sangzhi Counties, with an average altitude of over 1,000 meters. With flat mountaintops and fertile land, it’s known as “Small Tibet” and “Small Granary” of Yongding District. The unique geographical location and climate create a good growing environment for vine tea.

In the past few years, the villagers have planted wild vine tea in their own fields. There are now more than 200 hectares of vine tea in the village. “Damijie Snow Tea” is the main brand of the village and is exported to Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and other places. The annual per capita income of the villagers is 20,000 yuan and the collective economic income of the village is 1.17 million yuan. It has become a well-known rich village.

Damijie was once a famous poor village, where young people fled and few women outside were willing to get married with a local man. The remaining villagers tried to grow tobacco, medical materials, vegetables and others, all of which unfortunately did not lead to a stable income. 

The village had more than 1,000 people, with nearly half being registered poor households and many living on subsistence allowances. The village had poor infrastructure, uncompetitive industries, weak disaster resistance capacity and inadequate development momentum.

The local government has made unremitting efforts to seeking ways to get rich through fields. Based on the local conditions, the village decided to plant vine tea and build a vine tea plantation cooperative.

As the unit paired with the village for assistance, Zhangjiajie Civil Affairs Bureau encouraged villagers to plant vine tea, taught them planting skills, solved technical problems for them and talked with them about the growing experience to help them grow vine tea well.

Qin Li, village secretary, made use of his many years of experience in doing business and social connections to attract investment and develop village collective economy.

He built a vine tea base with 200-odd hectares, and built Damijie Snow Tea Production Plant and a 400-square-meter warehouse with an investment of more than 3 million yuan. The village collective economy he built injected new vitality into the village economy, and villagers’ per capita income increased by more than 3,000 yuan per year.   

With the development of vine tea, it’s important to create product brands and expand sales channels. The village cooperative cooperated with Zhongshi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., selling raw materials to the company.

“Damijie Snow Tea” is the main product of the company. Apart from high-end markets of vine tea in Zhangjiajie, its products are also exported to Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and other places. It helps villagers solve sales problems, introduces Damijie vine tea to outside, makes “Damijie Snow Tea” a famous business card of Damijie Village, and promotes the industrial development of the village.

What’s more, the village also actively promotes the development of planting, breeding and processing industries, especially courtyard economy. It has vigorously supported the development of cooperatives, improved the village collective economy and built industrial chains and even a photovoltaic power station. This improved the collective economic income of the village and made the poor village a rich villager with a per capita income of more than 20,000 yuan.  

Damijie is rich in iron ore resources. The village once mined for iron ores in an extensive way, with three mining areas at most in the village, leading to scarred mountains, damaged roads, dust and dirty water everywhere, which made the local people suffer a lot. Therefore, all the mines were closed. Qin Li and other village cadres decided to reclaim the land. They raised some money and asked the young people who can drive excavators back.

Regardless of rainy or sunny days, Qin Li inspected the work on the site. The three mining areas with about 133 hectares were transformed into arable land. After reclamation, they planted vine tea on this land. Now, you can see green vine tea gardens instead of damaged mine areas.

In 2020, the village’s experience in land reclamation and mountain greening was included in the typical cases by the Ministry of Ecological Environment. The vine tea planted on the mining areas has formed an unique scene and become a sustainable green economy. 

Damijie Village is developing rapidly and becoming better. The local government will further develop tourist resources and build multiple scenic spots like Vine Tea Experience Park, Ancient Blockhouse and Fenglianxi, in an efforts to promote the integrated development of tea and medicine tourism and set an example for rural revitalization. 

Edited by Li Ling 

2019 Zhangjiajie Bureau of Culture, Tourism, Broadcasting and Sports