A town in a suburban neighborhood helps a farming couple

Ti Gong

Corn farmers in Xiaokunshan City harvest corn.

Xiaokunshan City of Songjiang has helped its maize farmers cope with the impact of the pandemic.

Farmer Liu Jing and her husband Sun Yunhua worried about sowing their maize seeds months ago when the pandemic was at its peak.

Today, their first batch of 5,000 kilograms of maize is unable to reach the market.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for the couple.

On June 20, Liu and some farmers were seen picking corn in the field. The stems, about as tall as an average adult, formed a billowing green curtain.

“You can eat raw sweet corn. It tastes crispy and juicy,” said Liu, who broke off a cob to show its snowy kernels.

Liu’s first batch of corn, 5 mu (0.33 hectare) of sweet corn and 5 mu of colorful sticky corn, attracted locals to the field to buy when they heard the news of the bumper harvest.

“I visit this corn field every year. The corn here tastes good,” said Songjiang resident Zou Jinhua.

“Since June 18, we can sell more than 1,000 kilograms of maize at most,” Liu said.

Seeing the promising harvest scenes, few could imagine how worried the couple had been about planting seeds in early April, when Shanghai was in its citywide lockdown.

“This year’s pandemic has caused shortages of fertilizer and labor,” said Sun, who decided to report their condition to the city’s Xiaokunshan Agricultural Development Company.

“We acted quickly with the harvest time and resolved the couple’s fate,” said Yao Shoulong, director of Xiaokunshan Agricultural Development Co.

The company dispatched five temporary workers to help plant corn, and fertilizer was also sent to the couple.

“We didn’t expect the township government to offer so much help so quickly,” Sun said.

The couple’s first batch of 5,000 kilograms is expected to sell out within five days.

Sales of other corn will last until the end of July.

They expect to earn more than 200,000 yuan ($29,800) in total from their harvest this season.

About Marco C. Nichols

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