Tsokhe village of Gyalze county in the Tibet autonomous region has been developing ethnic-featured industries to financially benefit its rural residents and promote vitalization.
Since 2019, the village has worked hard to develop handicraft industries with the support of the local government and "aid-Tibet "cadres from Shanghai. The villagers have been producing woolen cloth handicrafts, which are registered as a regional intangible culture heritage in Tibet.
Known as nambu in Tibetan, the cloth is woven using wool and cashmere, and is widely used as a material to produce Tibetan costumes, including robes, hats, boots and sheets. In the past, the woolen cloth was considered a major tribute of the region, with the most famous being the woolen cloth produced from Gyalze, which is famous for its weaving techniques.
Tsephur, a villager of Tsokhe, said the woolen cloth is made of the cashmere of yak and goats, which features rich colors, soft texture and is comfortable to wear. The village has a contract with Sandriver, a Shanghai-based clothing company. The company plans to showcase the products at a fashion show in France next year, according to Tsephur.
Yangkyi, head of the county's commerce bureau, said that thanks to the county's efforts in enhancing the employment and vocational training in the village, the ancient craft has spurred vitalization.
Official statistics showed that the average annual per capita income of the villagers increased from 15,400 yuan ($2,120) in 2019 to 40,000 yuan last year. The collective economic income of the village hit 360,000 yuan in 2022.
Apart from handicrafts, Tsokhe village is also developing a barley industry.
Liu Lai, an official from the local township, said the village cooperates with e-commerce platform Freshippo, Alibaba's fresh-food chain, to develop barley noodles, dumplings and barley milk.
"The village has 20 hectares of fields for barley plantation. Villagers sell the barley directly to the company and also benefit from renting land and job opportunities by working with the company," said Liu.
Chen Hao, Party secretary of the county, said that in the past, most villagers planted barley mainly for their own needs, but now Gyalze county is vigorously developing its barley industry to increase returns.
"New processed products, including barley wine, barley noodles, barley biscuits and barley yogurt have emerged in the market. These products have increased in popularity among consumers, bringing new cash to the local villagers," said Chen.