Ludian, China

Implementing agroforestry and regenerative agriculture practices to improve small-scale farmers' livelihoods.

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About Ludian

Helping small-scale farmers regenerate ecosystems and diversify their revenues in Ludian, Yunnan, a region that suffers from the consequences of severe deforestation.


Located at an altitude of 2,100m, Ludian suffers from severe deforestation due to agricultural expansion and economic exploitation of timber.

Despite the exposure of farmlands to harsh climatic conditions, robust natural resources have enabled the cultivation of Chinese medicinal plants, which has become a key industry. However, farmers’ livelihoods are increasingly exposed to price fluctuations, threatening revenues. Heavy fertilizers and chemicals degrade soil quality and pollute local water sources.

In 2021, PUR started the Ludian project with small-scale farmers to regenerate ecosystems and diversify revenues by implementing agroforestry and reforestation practices.

Improving Irrigation Conditions

Considering the challenging natural conditions of Ludian, water shortage remains a restrictive factor for the survival of trees in the project.

Water pipes were distributed to farmers, in 2022, in places where sources are scarce — which will improve the survival rate of saplings while also expanding the positive reputation of the project.

Leveraging Data

Our field teams collect data using several digital tools that help standardize the process for collecting GIS, performance, and producer data.

Tree Planting

Farmer planting seedlings.

"I have a lot of Chinese herbal plant parcels, so I need water resources to irrigate, which is getting less and less abundant. So ecological trees are really important for the future."

QIAO Chun, Ludian

"As the leader of this hamlet, I welcome this project very much, because it can bring us more income and also improve the environment at the same time."

ZENG Zhijun, Ludian