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Gunchirga Village’s Herdsmen Started to Raise Turkeys Instead of  Sheep and Cattle

[ Inner Mongolia Online, Sep 4, 2001]

Translated by Enhebatu Togochog


Gunchirga Village, a natural grassland of Otog Hoshuu, used to be a beautiful place with plenty of water and lush grass. But now, because of gross over-cultivation, the Gunchirga grasslands have been destroyed and herdsmen whose ancestors have lived there for hundreds and thousands of years are forced to leave. This village used to have a population of 8000, but 3000 of them have been removed since 1990 because of the difficult living conditions.

Recently, the herdsmen of Gunchirga Village have been forbidden to  raise sheep and cattle. The government has claimed that excessive numbers of livestock is the main reason for the environmental damages. Because of the new policy, the herdsmen’s traditional lifestyle has changed. First of all, they improved their livestock’s breed and  have raised them by dry lot-feeding. In order to change the herdsmen’s traditional idea which considered goats as unsuited for dry lot-feeding, the government helped set up 1-2 goat dry lot-feeding models as examples. Meanwhile, the government is seeking the best strategy for using the closed grasslands.

Shenjing Toshon, a part of Gunchirga Village, started to raise turkeys, a kind of omnivorous bird which is suited for open-air raising in summer and dry-lot feeding in winter. Also turkeys breed rapidly and are not  harmful to vegetation cover. In addition, not only is the market price of turkey meat already up to 30 Yuan/Kilogram, but also the supply is not adequate to meet the demand. Therefore, the Party Committee and the government of Gubchirga Village have decided to lead herdsmen to find another new way for earning money which is large scale turkey farming.

Today, the economy of the entire village is dependent on turkey farming. Every family has started to raise turkeys with keen competition. “We are so happy for raising turkeys instead of goats and sheep!” herdsmen said.



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