Songxian County in Luoyang City, located in central China's Henan Province, has successfully transformed small shiitake mushrooms into a thriving industry that contributes to rural revitalization. Formerly one of the four most impoverished counties in the province, Songxian is now among the top 10 counties in Henan for edible fungus cultivation and holds the distinction of being the largest summer shiitake mushroom planting base in the province.
Wang Shusen, director of the county's bureau of agriculture and rural affairs, highlighted that Songxian has focused on shiitake mushrooms among various edible fungi varieties. The county has been cultivating shiitake mushrooms for over 30 years and is recognized as a "golden zone" for their growth.
The county initiated the development of the edible fungus industry in the 1980s, gradually making it a leading industry for poverty alleviation. In May 2018, the Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences provided assistance to the county, launching a project on new varieties and standardized cultivation technologies of edible fungi.
To further support the shiitake mushroom industry, Songxian implemented incentives over five consecutive years, investing 120 million yuan ($16.4 million) in the construction of eight modern large-scale mushroom stick plants, five standardized mushroom spawn plants, and over 80 standardized shiitake mushroom cultivation bases.
More than 100,000 people from 7,500 households across 167 administrative villages in Songxian are now involved in shiitake mushroom cultivation. This has significantly increased the annual income of each household by an average of more than 20,000 yuan.
The county boasts 74 standardized edible fungus cultivation bases and 241 cold storage warehouses, achieving an annual edible fungus output of 150,000 tonnes. The output value and comprehensive benefits have reached 1.6 billion yuan and 4 billion yuan, respectively. The shiitake mushroom industry has become a pivotal pillar for Songxian in promoting rural revitalization.