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      2. Cottoning on to tech

        China Daily | Updated: 2021-11-06 11:10
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        A cotton picker works in Rehim's fields. [Photo/Xinhua]

        With cotton pickers in continuous operation, Erkin Rehim's 550 mu (36.67 hectares) of cotton fields were harvested in less than 24 hours. Rehim, a cotton farmer in southern Xinjiang felt at ease in the knowledge that his family would be through to the next year.

        "It won't be a problem if I could sell 1 million yuan ($156,336) by the end of the year," he says.

        As he did in previous years, Rehim has been busy in his cotton fields since March as if guarding his own children. All his efforts added up during the harvest season in October. Nature has laid out a profusion of cotton flowers. The cotton fields become a vast expanse of whiteness stretching to infinity. The squirting cotton breaks into white smiles, as bright as the smile on Rehim's face and more intense in the sun.

        The 49-year-old now lives in Baximaili village, Gulebag township, Yuli county, in the southern region of the Tianshan Mountains. "I used to herd sheep and run restaurants in my early years. I was not committed to growing cotton until I got married in 2004," he says.

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