News Release

Turning drought-ravaged land into fertile soil

Time:2016-06-20 Browse Number:492 Source:CCTV-NEWS

(June 17) Drylands aren't usually the first choice for investors, but one desert in North China's Inner Mongolia might be able to provide more than meets the eye.

Is it possible to turn this yellow sandland into fertile soil?

"We plant a family of flowering plants having pods as its fruits and root modules that can extract nitrogen from the air. So the sandland can gradually become fertile soil," said Dong Qianqian, Kubuqi Desert Technology Institution.

Dong has been working for Kubuqi Desert Technology Institution since she graduated from Beijing Forestry University.

The research center is founded by Elion Resources, a private enterprise specializing in sustainable land management.

They discovered growing liquorice -- used in Chinese herb medicine -- in difficult terrain is not only good for business but also for the environment.

"Liquorice grows rhizobia, so it has nitrogen fixation. After the land has been planted with liquorice, it can be quickly changed into soil which is fertile for agriculture," said Han Meifei, chief designer of Elion Resources.

Apart from growing the right spices, uninterrupted sunlight provides much potential for capturing large quantities of solar energy.

Exploiting this resource would help China meet both its energy requirements and its commitments to saving the environment.

"We make a flat-out effort to develop the industry of forestry in the desert. Desert Industries serves both commercial and environmental needs," said Jiang Youze, from Forestry Bureau, Hangjinqi County.

As a result of the improvements in the environment, natural lakes peppered around encourage locals to return and new migrants to arrive.

Today hundreds of different breeds of birds have settled here. Local herdsmen call them beautiful angels and try hard to protect them. So their numbers are likely to rise in coming years.

Not only the numbers of birds will continue to increase, but also the region's attractions for investors.