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White-collar workers turned into new farmers, and Hong Kong youths returned to their hometowns to start a new life
1 week ago

Xinhua News Agency, Guangzhou, February 12 (Reporter Huang Haoyuan) Li Lihua, a white-collar worker in her 30s, decided to become a new farmer, which made people around her very incomprehensible - why did she suddenly decide to return to her hometown of Dongguan, Guangdong Province to farm?

From blowing air conditioners and wearing high heels in high-end office buildings in Hong Kong, to holding fishing nets and wearing water shoes to learn farming, Li Lihua's life has undergone tremendous changes. Despite many challenges along the way, her dedication to her goals overcame everything.

Before returning to her hometown to become a new farmer, Li Lihua worked in trading services in Hong Kong and ran her own small packaging company in the mainland. It wasn't until the current partner came to the door with a live bamboo shoot shell fish and asked her to design a waterless packaging that could transport live fish, and Li Lihua's life trajectory changed.

Bamboo shoot shell fish can survive without water for a period of time, and has the conditions for long-distance export. After half a year of trial and error, Li Lihua finally succeeded in developing an anhydrous packaging that can be exported by air for fresh bamboo shoot shell fish. As a result, the idea of "letting the world eat this bite of fresh fish" encouraged Li Lihua to devote herself to the aquaculture industry.

As a "little white" in the fishing industry, Li Lihua's concept of fish only stays on the dining table, and in reality, she doesn't even know what grass carp, crucian carp, and sea bass look like. After deciding to become a new farmer, she started from scratch, learning about fish fry, farming techniques, marketing channels, and cooking methods.

"I need to know the character of the fish, what it likes and what it doesn't like. Li Lihua said that she never thought that one day she would need to take care of the fish's heart.

Li Lihua learned from farmers and sought advice from experts, looked up information online and offline, and heard where new technologies came out, so she went to the door to observe and study, and even when she returned to Hong Kong, she did not forget to investigate whether there were suitable fishing grounds to expand her business.

Her parents did not approve of Li Lihua's farming, thinking it was too hard. However, she believes that modern agriculture has developed into digital agriculture, and many advanced technological means can reduce the amount of labor. The state vigorously supports agriculture and encourages rural revitalization, as long as there are good products, there is no fear of not making money.

From the research and development of anhydrous packaging to the opening of export channels, Li Lihua's bamboo shoot shell fish has entered overseas markets such as Canada and Singapore, and was also approved as a live fish product for Hong Kong in May 2023.

The growth cycle of bamboo shoot shell fish is 15 months, which is a long time, and there is no fixed number of harvests. While waiting, Li Lihua and her partners were not idle, trying to create three-dimensional agriculture on the farm: scientifically increasing breeding categories, developing farming and entertainment integration businesses such as fishing and entertainment, sowing rice experimental fields, and even planning to try the production and supply of prefabricated vegetables.

A 40-minute drive from the fishery is Li Lihua's home in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong. In the eyes of her parents, their daughter's current "clock-in and clock-in" model seems to be no different from her working in Hong Kong, but her physical and mental state has obviously become more cheerful, so she has gradually recognized her new career in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Li Lihua said that her current farming life is very full and peaceful, and she is also full of expectations. "My friends in Hong Kong would come to us whenever they ate the bamboo shoot shell fish and asked if it was produced by our company, and then they all said that they would come to play on the weekend. The Greater Bay Area is really convenient, it extends in all directions in an hour, my life is here, my career is here, and my future is here!"