Chinese journalist makes a fortune after dipping his toes into fish farming

Duan Defeng says sales for his business may hit US$58 million this year, news website reports

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 June, 2017, 3:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 June, 2017, 3:22pm

A former journalist has made a fortune from raising and selling crayfish in China, according to a news website report.

Duan Defeng graduated in law from Peking University in 2005, worked for a few financial newspapers and founded his own consulting firm in Beijing, before heading back to his home town in Xuyi county in Jiangsu province to raise crayfish in 2015, the news website Sohu reported .

Crayfish has gained wide popularity among Chinese foodies over the past few years and the country has become the world’s largest producer. The industry employs about five million people, according to an industry report published this year.

Duan’s home town has made crayfish farming a backbone industry for its economy, but also suffers from other producers claiming their crayfish are produced in Xuyi.

In an effort to protect his home town’s reputation and improve quality, Duan adopted a relatively new system of raising crayfish in rice fields, the report said.

China’s craving for crayfish creates US$2 billion business

His trial on rented farmland in 2015 proved an immediate success with an output of about 225kg of crayfish and 1.5 tonnes of rice.

Duan’s farm, now covers 1,900 acres of farmland, providing about 70 per cent of the crayfish producted in Xuyi.

He estimates the sales of his crayfish could reach 400 million yuan (US$58 million) this year, the report said.

The value of Xuyi’s annual output of crayfish has surpassed 10 billion yuan, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.