Is it possible to export the ubiquitous weeds and even "waste" crops like rice husks and corn stalks that have been burned for generations? Not only ordinary nepalese farmers, but even Nepali officials were surprised.
When China's xigaze qomolangma agriculture and animal husbandry investment group offered to import these items, yeja raj karel, press officer of Nepal's ministry of industry, commerce and supply, expressed disbelief.
However, after learning about the whole project, karel said, "this project is very good, many Nepali farmers will benefit, our department will fully support."
"These weeds and agricultural secondary products can be turned into valuable waste, bringing economic benefits to farmers and herdsmen in both countries." Everest agricultural investment company Nepal project technical expert dong qijun said.
Nepal is a traditional agricultural country, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of its gross domestic product, according to official figures. Nepalese farmers face challenges such as disposing of waste materials.
On the other side of the Himalayas, China's Tibet has another problem: not enough fodder for livestock. "The green period of grassland in xizang is only three months, which means the cattle and sheep have no feed for most of the year." Dong qijun said.
The xigaze region, which borders Nepal, needs about 1.47 million tons of feed a year and has to import grass from elsewhere. Li Chen, chairman of qomolangma agricultural investment company, told reporters that if the grass transported from qinghai to xigaze, a jin of hay to 1.4 yuan to 2 yuan a jin, and the purchase price of high-quality highland barley is only 2.3 yuan a jin.
"Considering this price, there is no future for the company to develop aquaculture." He said.
Then someone thought of neighboring Nepal. The distance from Nepal to xigaze is about 600km, a quarter of the distance from the rest of China to Tibet.
For this bold idea, qomolangma agricultural investment company arranged for dong qijun to visit Nepal in March this year. Dong qijun found that bagasse, oil meal and wild elephant grass in Nepal are good sources of feed.
With the help of nepalese feed, "Tibetan livestock, such as sheep, can be farmed in one year instead of three years, and the quality will be improved," dong said.
At present, qomolangma agricultural investment company has set up a factory in chitwan district of Nepal, and it is expected to export feed from Nepal to China before the end of the year. If all goes well, the company will build factories in six other areas of Nepal, and within three years it may be able to feed 70% of shigatse's livestock.
Zhang jinxiang, Nepal project manager of qomolangma agricultural investment co., LTD., calculated that a single factory could boost the income of more than 800 Nepali families by about 70%.
Parbhatti shah, deputy mayor of the city of peredpur in chitwan district, says the project is an innovation in Nepal. "Farmers here are excited," she said. "we lack technology and investment, so we welcome Chinese projects."
Zhang jinxiang believes that the implementation of the project will help expand Nepal's exports to China. "If the scale, a year feed export 300,000 tons, earnings in 43 million us dollars." He said.