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Little Highland Barley Witnesses the Great Changes in Xizang’s Agriculture

2024-03-28 14:23:00China Tibet Online

Highland barley is the main grain crop in Xizang. It has a history of planting for more than 3,000 years on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Praised as the “Mother of Grain”, it has effects such as lowering cholesterol in the human body and controlling blood glucose. Its proportion in the area and total output of grain crops in Xizang is up to 80%.

However, before the democratic reform, because of the old agricultural production mode and a single variety of highland barley that degraded, the grain production in Xizang was relatively low. Rigzin, who was 81 years old, was a serf in the past. Speaking of life short of food in the past, she said: “The whole family often suffered from starvation at that time. The serf owner only gave us a small bowl of tsampa every day. In the bad time of year, we could only get a bowl of thin congee with doughballs.” After the democratic reform in Xizang, land was allocated to serfs accounting for more than 95% of the population in Xizang. As agricultural technologies continuously develop, including the breeding of highland barley, high-yield and high-efficiency cultivation, and R&D of featured products, highland barley has become more high-yield and nutritious and the categories of processed food also increase. Currently, the planting area of highland barley in Xizang is stable at above 2.2 million mu (146,667 hectares) and the proportion of highland barley processed and transformed in Xizang accounts for about a quarter of the total production. Highland barley flour, highland barley tea, highland barley biscuits, and other products have gradually entered the markets inside and outside the region and become popular among consumers.


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