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Zhejiang farmers gain traction from tailor-made power services

By ZHUANG QIANGE and PANG BO| China Daily| Updated: March 22, 2024 L M S


Employees of State Grid Quzhou Electric Power Co check a greenhouse at Future Agricultural Park in Longyou county, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday. WANG JIAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

At a tea cultivation area in Sheyang in the prefecture-level city of Quzhou, Zhejiang province, sprawling tea bushes carpet mountain slopes, where workers busily collect leaves and place them in baskets during spring tea picking.

Tea processing is one of the pillar industries in Sheyang under Longyou county, and also a main source of income for villagers. The local government has encouraged farmers to plant alpine yunwu (cloud and mist) tea and Anji yellow tea, to increase incomes.

But the booming business can occasionally encounter problems, said Weng Jianmin, manager of Jianmin Tea-making Co.

"I have a 2-hectare garden with tea plants in the village, and plan to rent another 1.3 hectares of hilly land to grow new varieties. But the new land is far from the village, and I have had some trouble getting electric power," he said.

On getting to know Weng's difficulties, Chen Zhongyan, a staffer from the local branch of the State Grid — the world's largest utility firm shouldering a dual task of safeguarding the nation's energy security and its economic lifeline — rushed to the new site to conduct a joint survey with him.

"I never expected that the whole process — from consultation to design, construction and power connection — would only take six days, and a low-voltage line could be put in place, providing me with electricity," Weng said, adding that now he can start his new business expansion.

Currently, agricultural planting has progressed from traditional modes to scientific planting, and electrification is changing energy consumption habits in agricultural production, while new kinds of power needs are growing day by day, said Yan Mingliang, a staffer from State Grid Quzhou Electric Power Co.

Assessing the new cultivation needs, State Grid is taking tailored measures to serve farmers to better realize rural vitalization, Yan said.

In Zhejiang, for example, State Grid has been optimizing its drive to "set up models in 1,000 villages while upgrading services in 10,000 villages" with upgraded power supplies by joining hands with local governments beginning in 2003.

In Longyou county, a service system — with special service windows, on-duty personnel, service rules and excellent service quality — has been established to extend power supply services to every villager, said Yan.

"If there is any electricity issue in a village or a town, villagers can go to nearby village-network power service stands for consultation, which greatly hastens their access to critical power resources," said Yan, who serves as a deputy director at the Huzhen subbranch.

In addition to spring tea harvesting, it is also the busiest season for spring plowing and irrigation, which maximizes rural electricity consumption used by irrigation equipment, said Su Hang, a farmer in Sheyang's Shantou village.

"I had a problem myself, as overloaded circuits in my pump house rendered pump motors inoperable, causing my irrigation efforts to be stalled," he said, adding that he went to the nearby power service stand for consultation.

The power staffers immediately went to check on the situation and saw that it was caused by insufficient current flows and faulty overload protection. So, they increased power capacity while replacing the protector.

"With reliable electricity supplies now, I'm sure that my crops will flourish, and a handsome income is expected," Su said.

In Shicun in Xiaonanhai town, power workers also recently visited a strawberry plantation base at Future Agricultural Park to assess power usage and met with its technical director Wang Xionglong to see if any assistance was required.

Equipped with drip irrigation equipment, supplementary lights as well as integrated water and fertilizer irrigation facilities, the base can accurately control ambient temperatures for strawberries and automatically monitor water and fertilizer irrigation activity.

"With improved conditions, we have installed a smart agricultural system in the park, and temperature and humidity levels can be monitored round the clock. But we need your help for power," Wang told the visitors.

Mao Xiaowei, another staffer from State Grid Quzhou Electric Power Co, said their optimized services will help rural areas in Zhejiang achieve more common prosperity, as well as improve ecological conditions.