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Village officials help farmers sell eggs amidst COVID-19 complications by Liu Yizhou ,June 03, 2020 Adjust font size:


“It’s very cold outside, and it’s so nice of you to have come to visit us again,” Jian Jin'e greeted the First Secretary of Hongshuliang village Jing Yan – who was assigned by the Ordos Statistics Bureau to work on poverty alleviation in the village – and several other village officials when they came to her home early in the morning recently. The elderly woman lives with her son Zhang Fei in Hongshuliang, Longkou township, Jungar banner of Ordos city, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The two initially suffered from difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak this year.

Zhang injured his leg in 2014, and became unable to engage in manual labor, and his family was eventually identified as impoverished. The Ordos Statistics Bureau later provided them with initial funding for raising chickens. The family currently keep more than 400 chickens and 38 pigs. They brought in about 100,000 yuan (US$14,170) of income in 2019, which made it possible for them to escape from poverty. The COVID-19 outbreak early this year, however, made it difficult for them to sell the eggs that their chickens produce.

First Secretary Jing and other officials working in Hongshuliang have been thinking about how to provide assistance. They are supposed to help eliminate extreme poverty in the area by the end of the year and now need to engage in COVID-19 prevention and containment measures as well. Jing and his colleagues decided to combine online and offline channels in order to address various problems and managed to help Zhang sell 1,300 of his eggs. The officials recently heard that he was ready to sell 700 more eggs, so they visited him again.

Jian Jin’e explained joyfully: “Our eggs are very popular because our chickens have a pure grain diet. But since we haven’t been able to leave Hongshuliang or receive visitors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought we wouldn’t be able to sell them. We would have suffered losses if the officials working here weren’t able to help us. Our income was ultimately not affected though. We wanted to start a business in the past but did not have the means to do so. Now with better policies in place, we want to expand our operations even though it means we have to work harder.”

Besides Zhang Fei and his mother, other villagers have also received assistance from the officials. Liu Xiulian, 61, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 14 years ago, and her household was identified as impoverished in 2016. Liu was given 30 chicks per year from then until 2019. She elaborated graciously: “I had more than 400 eggs that I wasn’t able to sell because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some of Hongshuliang’s officials eventually helped me sell them at a rate of 1.5 yuan (US$0.21) each, so I earned about 600 yuan (US$85.02). China has put inclusive policies into place that have helped us solve our problems.”

Farmers who are not impoverished have also benefited from some of the policies that have been implemented. Ren Rongyi is not poverty-stricken but had more than 200 eggs that he was not able to sell when the COVID-19 outbreak emerged. Hongshuliang’s officials helped him as well. He summarized: “We were given chicks for free at first and were only charged 100 yuan (US$14.17) for every 10 that grew into hens and began laying eggs. The project has allowed me to bring in more than 2,000 yuan (US$283) every year after costs are deducted, and has helped farmers in our village develop new income streams.”

Records indicate that the Ordos Statistics Bureau has given more than 9,000 chicks to Hongshuliang villagers and has helped them sell more than 5,000 kg of eggs since 2016, which has resulted in over 100,000 yuan (US$14,170) of additional income beyond what they were able to achieve on their own. All of the 27 registered poor households in Hongshuliang have now escaped from poverty.


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