Joined: 16 Apr 2019
|KUNMING , March 8 (Xinhua) -- He Guogao, a villager in southwest China's Yunnan province, once dreamed of building a new house with the money he might earn from growing a miraculous new plant.
"I will name it 'the mansion of maca'," he declared ambitiously. Maca, also known as Lepidium meyenii, is a plant native to the high Andes of Peru.
To his chagrin, the price of maca root has now dropped to only a thirtieth of what it was a year ago. Gone is his dreamhouse.
He is not the only farmer languishing in disillusionment after banking on the plant that was introduced to China in 2002. It was widely believed that maca root could boosts hormone production , enhance energy and strengthen stamina. Maca was seen by many Chinese as slowing the aging process, preventing cancer and having the effects of a natural *****.
Xue Runguang is vice director of a research institute for commercial alpine plants based in the Yunnan provincial academy of agricultural sciences. He told Xinhua that maca grows at high altitude in cold mountainous regions, places where Chinese farmers largely live in poverty.
In the village of Nanxi in Yunnan, more than 350 households have been growing 200 hectares of Maca since 2004.
Various vehicles parked along the roadside suggest a wealth unusual in this part of the world, presumably as a result of cultivating the plant.
"More than 200 households bought cars in the past ten years," Xue said. In 2015, per capita income in the village reached 15 ,000 yuan (about 2,300 U.S. dollars), three or four times of that of 2010.
In May of 2011, the former Health Ministry of China listed maca powder as a new resource, further fueling Maca mania.
Statistics from Yunnan agricultural department showed that in 2010, less than 700 hectares of land in the entire province was used for maca. The number rose to 8,000 in 2014 , and to 25,000 in 2015.
The price of maca also reached a peak in 2015, when a kilogram of fresh root sold for 90 yuan. When dried, a kilogram of the root could make hundreds or even thousands of yuan.
"The crazily high price drove farmers into irrational decisions," said He Jingyan, director of biographical resource development in Lijiang City. They could earn as much as 10,000 yuan by growing one mu (666 square meters) of maca , at the cost of one or two thousand yuan.
More maca was planted, leading to a supply which way surpassed demand.
"Nationwide, close to 40,000 hectares of land were dedicated to maca, but demand was just about half of the yield," He Jingyan said.
The bubble finally burst at the end of 2015.
In villager He Lishou's courtyard there are still several bags of maca root waiting to be sold. "Two or three yuan per kilogram," he said. "No one comes to collect it this year ," he said.
Foreign suppliers were also affected.
Liu Peijun, general manager of the Sanawasi Group who has been dealing with maca in Peru for several years, told Xinhua that prices of products like maca powder, capsule and dried roots exported to China dropped by at least 50 percent from last year.
"Excessive supply and fraud are the causes," he said. "Some fake maca products were labelled as 'from Peru'. Therefore, the authentic ones lost the luster."
The end of maca legend was not unforeseen.
The biographical resource development and innovation office of Lijiang warned farmers in March last year of the overheat of maca, suggesting that the total growth area of the plant be limited , said He Jingyan.
Local governments in Yunnan also urged traders to collect the roots from farmers as promised, he said.
Like maca, some other biological products like spiral seaweed have also experienced such ups and downs, suggesting a lack of market regulation, said Yang Yuming, a professor with Yunnan Academy of Forestry.
"It also showed the change of Chinese people's needs, from feeding themselves to achieve good health through food , thanks to the rise of people's living standard," he said, adding that it was why maca had been so popular.
In Peru, however, maca is a commonplace, Liu Peijun told Xinhua. "The products could be bought from any **** store, and some children even eat maca root for breakfast."
"Only by recognizing maca as well as other biological products correctly , can producers and consumers make rational choices so as to avoid such disappointment," Li said.
Capital Self Storage Within the News For The Incorrect Reasons
DACRE St Mitchell appeared to be reopened yesterday, 5 days after the outbreak of one of several largest industrial fires ever noticed in the ACT. A chemical plant caught on fire, some 200 metres gone, early on Friday day past, prompting evacuation with the entire commercial area connected with Mitchell.
芒??The flow of information to landholders because of the ACT authorities was nonexistent, Government using the emergency services to include updates on their internet site. We were able for you to communicate to every customer as ratepayers , I would have expected them as a way to do the same. Not every landholder is glued to your computer looking for tweets! An SMS or some call to update affected landholders was in order. It never occured. A spokesman for the police said, 芒??We only speak with the Media芒?娄芒?聺
Once that fire was extinguished, the cleanup of the fire site commenced, by using Dacre St remaining finished. A number of promises were made claiming there would be no toxic outcome or effect however, the key road and our business canít trade for over 48 working hours, creating frustration with consumers.
A quote from your ACT Emergency Website:
芒??ESA and EPA with conducted comprehensive sampling and testing can now confirm that the try results have conclusively exhibited no contaminants or toxins within the fire within the Mitchell exemption zone芒?聺. 18th of September.
The road reopened.