The Land of Fungi And The New Branding Village: The Reconstruction and Transformation of Mushroom Industry in Eastern Fujian
This article discusses the development of mushroom industry in Gutian (古田縣), a small and distant county which located in eastern Fujian. After suffering from a period of hunger and poverty, Gutian has experienced an enormous transformation during China''s economic reform since the late 1970''s. As becoming one of the largest fungi producing area in china, Gutian now is known as "the land of fungi "(食用菌之鄉).
This article tries to explore how the mushroom industry mediate local society between new power struggle, by presenting two villages in Gutian, Daiqiao village (大橋村) and Jiannong village(前壠村),both of them are famous in mushroom industry, but function in completely different ways. By avoiding the penetration of state and capital subtly, Daiqiao Village created an unique local pattern of white fungus(銀耳) producing, in which economic system was embedded into local culture and social networks, intertwined with an independent local market and a set of ambiguous ,secret and unpredictable local knowledge. On the contrary, Jiannong Village reconstructed their mushroom industry by establishing local agricultural brand, in this process the state government, local cadres and businessmen act together to build a new " agricultural cooperative system", in which local industry was fused into an imagination of modernity and commercialization.
by examining the creation of local mushroom industry, this article argues that local economic systems, articulated by power and capital, not only reconstructed mushroom industry with modern feature, but also transformed industry itself with local social and cultural discourses.
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