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How Does this County in Shanxi Escape Poverty?

How do potatoes change this place?
How Does this County in Shanxi Escape Poverty?

Fanlou County sits in the heart of Luliang Mountain, and has been tagged the Key County for poverty alleviation and development because of its weak ecosystem and poor living and productive environment.

The Loess Plateau with countless mountains and slopes and the drought climate brings quite the trouble for agriculture and production of Loufan County. We can control what the nature brings us, but luckily we have the power to adapt to local conditions, and the value of Loufan’s ecosystem is rediscovered.

Why potatoes?

Potato grows under a cool temperature of around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. Not only does Loufan have a low temperature, but also plenty of sunlight, providing a perfect growing environment for potatoes.

Loufan develops organic dry farming with potatoes as the backbone industry. In 2011, Loufan signed the “Loufan County ‘One County One Industry’ Potato Industry Development Project”, constructing a potato species breeding park with over 750 acres of farmland for potato breeding. The total area of potato plantation is around 10 thousand acre, with a gross total production value of 95 million CNY. In 2018, Loufan County was identified by the provincial government as a Demonstration County of organic dry farming in the province.

With a steady income, as of December of 2020, all poor people in Loufan County have been lifted out of poverty.

TerraQuanta: June 2021, Crop Distribution Monitoring in Loufan County, Shanxi

Picture above is the crop distribution monitoring on selected farmland areas in Loufan by TerraQuanta. The result of crop distribution in June 2021 shows that potato plantation area is larger than that of other crop types.

Meanwhile, through this picture we can see another characteristics of Loufan’s adaptation to local condition, terrace agriculture.

What Does Terrace Bring?

Because of the geological environment, the farmlands in Loufan is mainly in form of narrow terrace.

China had terraced fields as early as the Qin and Han dynasties. The name terrace (“Titian” in Chinese Pinyin) was first seen in verses from “Can Luan Lu” by Fan Chengda in the Southern Song Dynasty: “In Yuan Zhou (Yichun, Jiangxi province), there are all paddy fields on the ridge slabs, layer by layer and top by top, called terraced fields".”.

Not only can terraces increase the effective cultivation area of mountain regions, but also, as an important water and soil conservation engineering measure, facilitate raining, which improve water resource efficiency, and the physical and chemical properties of soil, making crops more resilient to disasters

Terraces plays an irreplaceable role in soil erosion control in the Loess Plateau, and provides strong guarantees in increase in grain production and farmers’ income.

However, collecting information on terrace cultivation is also more challenging. Even using satellite remote sensing technology, characteristics such as the long and narrow terrain, unclear borders and irregular shapes creates difficulties in extracting terrace information, which is significantly harder than farmland information extraction in plain terrains.

How is this problem solved?

Plot in Loufan County is highly fragmented, so it is of great practical significance and many technical difficulties to monitor growth based on plot division for agricultural precise monitoring

With the continuous development of high resolution remote sensing image processing technology, the research on terrace information extraction by high resolution remote sensing image has made important progress.

With collaboration with sample collection and algorithm development, TerraQuanta also provides a higher-quality solution for terraced crop monitoring.

By using high-resolution image and example segmentation model, we can extract the quantity and area of cultivated land. At the same time, by integrating crop monitoring data, crop distribution data at the plot level can also be obtained to achieve "plot level" crop planting management.

TerraQuanta: June 2021, Crop Growth Monitoring in Loufan County, Shanxi

On the basis of block segmentation and crop condition monitoring, we can also achieve emergency monitoring and data analysis of crop losses caused by disasters such as flood, frost, drought, for crops in the monitoring area. We are also able to quick obtain the affected area and the spatial distribution of the crop information, providing scientific spatiotemporal data support for the government's disaster prevention and mitigation and agriculture insurance assessment and claims.

TerraQuanta: Drought Monitoring in Loufan County, Shanxi (Top) March 2021 (Down) June 2021