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New homes improve living standards in Gulang county by Wang Jingli ,April 29, 2020 Adjust font size:

More than ten new villageslie along the provincial highway east of the Huanghuatan ecomigration area in Gulang county, Wuwei city in Gansu province.

New home, new life

Two years ago, Li Yingchuan and his family moved into a new home in Fumin, one of the villages in Huanghuatan.

“I lived at my former residence for 20 years and never dreamed of being able to move into a new house and live a more comfortable life,” Li expressed his joy.

The Li family used to reside in an adobe dwelling in Hengliang village, Hengliang township of Gulang county. No running water was available, so they had to take a donkey to get water at the bottom of the hill that they lived on.

The Hengliang natives were able to move into a new, 90-square-meter home in 2018. They used government subsidies, poverty alleviation relocation loans, and 20,000 yuan (US$2,857) of their own money to pay for their new residence.

The family now enjoy a higher standard of living in Fumin, having access to running water, and Li’s grandchildren attending a school in the area. Li is currently preparing to build a greenhouse and four breeding sheds in order to increase family income.

Poverty reduction via relocation 

The Qilian Mountains run through southern Gulang, and a desert occupies the north. The Huanghuatan ecomigration area lies in the county’s relatively flat central region. More than 4,500 people from eight townships moved to Fumin village in 2018. Most of them came from southern Gulang. The harsh natural conditions in the region make it very difficult for the local residents to support themselves. 

The county implemented the Huanghuatan poverty alleviation ecomigration program in 2012. One ecomigration town and 12 relocation villages were built, and 62,400 people from 73 poverty-stricken villages under the administration of11 townships now live in them, including all of the former residents of the villages administered by Xinbao, Gancheng and Hengliang townships.

The ecomigration program helps preserve the environment in the Qilian Mountains in addition to helping people to get out of poverty. Officials working in Gulang mentioned that relocation makes it possible to expand access to and solve difficulties associated with tap water, transportation, education and medical services.

The Gulang government supports the development of vegetable farming and animal husbandry endeavors in the area in order to promote stability and prosperity in its villages. Most of Huanghuatan’s residents have been able to escape from poverty by participating in these industries.

In 2019, 20,300 peopleliving in 6,052 households in Gulangwere able to get out of poverty; and the incidence of poverty inthe county fell to 0.07 percent.

Cooperatives promote prosperity

The development model integrating cooperatives, farms and rural households has been implemented in the Huanghuatan ecomigration area. The government encourages people to pursue controlled environment agriculture, such as cattle and sheep farming and vegetable cultivationin greenhouses. Two hundred and thirty greenhouses and 540 breeding sheds have been built in Fumin so far.

In November of 2019, the Wonder Rose Company began operating in Fumin. It brought 120,000 rose seedlings from Yunnan, Sichuan, and other provinces to the village. Plans are in the works to begin the cultivation of 20 hectares worth of wonder roses in northeast Fumin. This undertaking will increase incomes in the village and bring in more money for its collective. Poultry farming has also been going well in the area.

“Relocation makes it possible for people to improve their lifestyles and enhance their economic activities,” explained Hu Zhongshan, an official who works at a cooperative in the Huanghuatan ecomigration area.“ The people who live in Huanghuatan used to be involved in extensive farming. They’re now participating in efficient, intensive modern agriculture. Government bodies and cooperatives in the region are helping Huanghuatan residents adapt to these changes.”

Li mentioned that Fumin has established a crop farmers’ cooperative and that he wants to form an animal husbandry cooperative to complement it and help other villagers. “My new year’s wish is to grow high-quality vegetables, raise cattle and sheep, and live a better life with my fellow villagers,” he concluded.

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