July 19,2017--It sometimes takes a fresh set of eyes to spot the obvious, when those who are overly familiar with a place cannot see the wood for the trees. That is what happened after You Linshan, 32, returned from the United States, after working there for five years, to live in Nyingchi, Tibet autonomous region, two years ago.
You, originally from Xi'an, Shaanxi province, was touring the Nyingchi area and met Tasha, a villager there. Before long they had decided to marry, and You decided to move to Nyingchi.
As they set about planning their future, the couple decided to do a bit of market research on business opportunities in Nyingchi and found that there seemed to be great demand for environmentally friendly products from the area. In this respect, Nyingchi's products of the forest such as matsu take and many kinds of fruits offer great opportunities, You says.
"More and more people are willing to splash out on healthy, environmentally friendly food as they adopt upmarket spending habits. At the moment you can't find that many agricultural products from Nyingchi around China, but demand will grow as more tourists come here and discover them."
In October the couple opened an agricultural processing cooperative factory in their village, in Pai town, part of Nyingchi.
They invested 460,000 yuan ($68,000), and another 18 families from the village chipped in more than 1.2 million yuan.
The factory freeze-dries the local organic products so they can be transported without losing nutritional value and preserving their flavor, You says.
"I hope that eventually it will not only be Nyingchi's beautiful scenery that leaves a mark on tourists, but its rich diversity of organic foods, too."
The factory now has a staff of five, and the plan is to recruit a dozen more villagers as workers, who will be sent to the cities to be trained for the job. Professional marketing teams have also been drafted in to help promote the products around the country, You says.
Wu Yong, 40, is optimistic about the market in Nyingchi for high-end rural inns, and already has solid evidence that this confidence is well founded.