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Raising chickens and growing edible fungus improve conditions in Rongshui by Liu Yizhou,May 06, 2020 Adjust font size:


Editors Notes: Fifty-two of China’s counties and 2,707 of its villages currently remain in poverty. The country’s poverty-stricken population is much smaller than it was in the past, but the people in this group are some of the poorest of the poor and are not easy to help out of poverty. Senior citizens, people with illnesses, and people with disabilities constitute 45.7 percent of the nation’s impoverished citizens at present, which can make poverty alleviation more difficult. What is the current annual plan for China’s impoverished counties? How can poverty reduction industries develop and consolidate? How can the problem of students dropping out of school be addressed? How can better social insurance be provided to impoverished people? How can cleaner water and safer housing be made available in rural areas? How can people with disabilities be better cared for? China's Poverty Reduction Online website publishes the stories of five officials who are currently engaged in poverty alleviation work in various impoverished counties in order to answer these questions and elucidate the process. The following is the first story in the series from Yang Wei’en, Party chief of Rongshui Miao autonomous county and vice chairman of the CPPCC Liuzhou Municipal Committee of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. 

Chickens are fluttering inside of new fences. The enclosed area is like a playground for them. Next to the chicken farm is a black fungus farm where local residents grow wood’s ear mushroom under bamboo frameworks. This is Lao Zhai, one of our county’s humble farming cooperatives, which involves the livelihood of more than 250 people from 65 impoverished families. 

Rongshui Miao autonomous county in Liuzhou city, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region is not wealthy. Five years ago, its incidence of poverty stood at 28.53 percent; more than 110,000 of its residents were identified as impoverished. As the county is located in a mountainous area, young people tend to leave in order to find greater opportunity elsewhere. Every household engaged in business endeavors independently, which made it difficult for them to withstand instability and risks. Tourism resources were going to waste, and the quality of poverty reduction work was low.

I am part of the Dong ethnic group. I have been living in Rongshui for less than 10 years though, it has become my second home. I had been thinking about how the county can become more prosperous, and I eventually realized that industry is the key. Tourism, industrial parks, greenhouses, orchards, silk, mushrooms, and other business endeavors make it possible for villagers to escape from poverty and improve their lives.

Tourist attractions and leading enterprises in the county have made it possible for many impoverished households to establish small businesses operating in industries such as agritainment. The development of Rongshui’s characteristic industries has resulted in more and more young people becoming willing to start their own businesses in the county. Wang Fu was one of them. He returned to his hometown in Ronghsui in 2015 after having worked elsewhere for a while, and established the Lao Zhai Cooperative, which is currently scaling up. The county’s farmers have begun to work together, which makes it easier for them to escape from poverty.

The implementation of all these measures has paid off, and everyone has earned more. Tourism endeavors that promote poverty alleviation are expected to benefit 30,000 people this year. A total of 28,285 poverty-stricken households, or 97.74 percent of the registered poor families in Rongshui, have become involved in the county’s characteristic industries, such as edible mushroom cultivation and traditional Chinese medicine and culture.

There are still 6,634 of the county’s residents remaining impoverished, howeverIndustrial poverty alleviation award and subsidy policies will continue to be implemented and corresponding benefits will be increased for impoverished households that are developing local industries during the pandemic period. The maximum subsidy for poverty-stricken families will rise to 10,000 yuan (US$1,411) this year, and people who participated in industrial activities before March 31, 2020 and pass an evaluation will receive additional 5,000 yuan (US$706). A number of micro markets, micro farms, and micro-factories are being established as well in order to provide more employment opportunities for local impoverished people.

We will also continue to pursue rural tourism for poverty alleviation purposes and strive to integrate agriculture with education, tourism, culture, health care, and other areas in order to enable the residents in the county to live a more satisfying life. I believe that Rongshui will escape from poverty soon.





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