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Aksu bakers turn "nang" into big business

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: January 28, 2021

Listening to a folk song called the Nang of Aksu, Yusufujiang Kuerban, a villager in Aksu city in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, begins to bake nang - a flatbread and staple food of the Uygur ethnic group - in a local nang industrial park, on Jan 24.

Yusufujiang has improved his life through his hard work since he landed a job in the park six months ago. He formerly ran a nang bakery in his hometown in 2010.

If he made slightly too much nang, the leftovers posed a headache for him, the man recalled.

Thanks to the industrial park, which opened at the end of June last year, he signed a contract to operate two nang pits, and hired several employees.

He said he didn't need to worry about sales anymore, and planned to open two more pits this year.

The man’s confidence comes from the rapid growth of the local nang industrial park. After the first batch of nang are made at around nine o’clock, they will be transported to a logistics and distribution center in downtown Aksu and neighboring counties via delivery vehicles. The delivery service providers in the park then send the products to China’s inland areas.

Meanwhile, the salesmen promote their specialty via livestreaming, interacting with internet users on online platforms such as Taobao and Douyin.

In addition, the newly-launched production lines that develop various jams help enrich the flavor of the staple food.

Abuduresiti Tursun, a nang master who works in a nang bakery not far from Yusufujiang’s, told his apprentices he will work harder and expect a higher income this year.

Last week, he received 5,800 yuan ($896.1) and the average income of his apprentices was about 3,500 yuan.

In the 33,000-square meter nang industrial park, there are processing areas, a nang culture hall, offline stores and an e-commerce market.

Using a live-streaming platform, a salesman showed how the park's 600 pits make nang, and demonstrated the process of making nang with all kinds of flavors, such as onion, sesame, hot pepper, and rose jam.

According to Tan Wumi, an official of the industrial park, about 120 million nang have been made over the past six months in the park, bringing an output value of more than 300 million yuan and creating over 4,000 jobs.

Tan said that Aksu’s nang will help more people land a job locally as more diverse nang products are being sold in East China’s Zhejiang province.

All the employees receive training before working in the park. The nang masters are invited to give lectures on product development, food safety and professional skills, and offer training to Aksu's neighboring counties.

The park has standardized production, expanded its business, and improved its branding and online sales, Tan said, adding that Aksu’s nang has become a calling card for the region.