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Poverty alleviation factories resume operations in Guangxi by Wang Jinli,June 16, 2020 Adjust font size:

Overcoming challenges that prevent resumption of operations

More than 20 sewing machines have been humming at the Lanqiao Toy Processing Factory in Mudong village, Debao county, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region recently, which has made it possible to fill new orders that have been placed.

“The assistance and support rom the village officials has made it possible for our factory to resume operations,” manager Xu Lanqiao stated. A lack of disinfection supplies and staff members’ reluctance to continue working amid the COVID-19 pandemic were the two main challenges that prevented the company from resuming operations after they were temporarily suspended due tothe coronavirus outbreak.

Mudong village’s officials have made great efforts to address these kinds of problems and to facilitate employees’ safe and orderly return to work.

Lin Weipeng, head of the Mudong poverty alleviation team, stated: “Plants coming back online makes people more confident about their ability to escape from poverty by increasing their incomes.”

Sufficient COVID-19 prevention and control supplies have been purchased, and all of the factories in the area are disinfected regularly. But their staff had been apprehensive about returning to their posts, however, because of concerns about safety.

Mudong’s officials eventually went to villagers’ homes to inquire about their willingness to continue working and explained that strict pandemic prevention measures have been implemented, which dispelled their misgivings about safety conditions, and they were encouraged to begin working again soon. All 27 of Lanqiao Toy Processing Factory’s employees returned to work on March 4, and output has recovered to 90 percent of the 2019 rate thus far.

Beibeikang Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Company, a poverty alleviation demonstration enterprise in Qiaotou village, Longsang town, resumed operations in mid-February. The Longsang government dispatched an official named Huang Huiqiao to help it overcome challenges related to market information and staff recruitment.

The Debao county government has taken ten measures to help the region overcome the impact of the pandemic and end extreme poverty later this year as scheduled. These measures include developing industries, promoting stable employment in its borders, and advancing the resumption of work after breaks that were imposed when the COVID-19 outbreak emerged. They are expect to result in every village in the county having an industrial base and all its residents possessing skills that are needed toearn a living.  

The Debao government has also dispatched local officials to factories in its borders in order to learn about the challenges that are preventing them from resuming operations and to help resolve them in a timely manner.

Developing industries with specific policies 

“We did not get any new orders after the Spring Festival holiday,and our company was under great financial pressure for a couple of months,” Baohong Clothing Factory manager Huang Yingguan stated.

The Debao governmen timplemented the following targeted policies in order to address difficulties that factories have been experiencing when resuming operations:

Employment subsidies were raised to 2,000 yuan (US$283) for every staff member who resumed work or was hired before March 31 at factories that were established for poverty reduction purposes;

And one-time payments of 1,000 yuan (US$141) were made to people from impoverished families who sign employment contracts with factories that were built for poverty alleviation purposes.

“The policies that the government has implemented have helped our factory get through a difficult period,” Huang Yingguan said. “Now we have received orders from outside the area again recently. Our machines are back in operation, and more and more laborers from poverty-stricken families have returned to work.”

The Debao government has substituted compensation with various awards in order to support poverty reduction industries. It has been distributing citrus, hawthorn, mulberry, and other seedlings to villagers for free andhas increased support related to taxes, machinery, capital and other areas. 

Subsidies for poverty-stricken households have increased by 30 to 50 percent from prior levels. Large-scale farms that supply 500 to 1,000 butcherhogs per year can receive up to 250,000 yuan (US$35,300) of subsidies.

Every small-scale silkworm breeding facility that meets standards receives a 30,000-yuan (US$4,236) subsidy for equipment. 

And laborers who engage in stable employment for more than six months are awarded with a 200-yuan(US$28) bonus every month.

The policies have helped these riculture industry become more robust in Pailiu village, Ma’ai town. Local Party chief Wei Shujie explained: “Agriculture is generally very difficult in the mountains of Ma’ai, but the area is suited tomulberry cultivation.”

The government encouraged Jiangyuan Silk Company to establish a factory in Pailiu so that its citizens can increase their incomes, which has made it possible for 86 households to escape from poverty.

Pailu resident Nong Lingui mentioned: “I earned 5,800 yuan (US$820) the first year that I worked for Jiangyuan.I currently grow mulberry trees on 1.6 ha of land and earn more than 20,000 yuan (US$2,827) a year.”

Officials working in Zurong town’s Bainong village have recently assumed new duties. For example,they deliver fresh vegetables and pork to the Bainong Oil Pressing Plant inthe village every day in order to ensure that everyone working there can have a good meal each day.

“The care that village officials have shown has given us greater motivation,” an employeenamed Qin Shengjing stated.

The Debao governmentis doing everything it can to promote employment in its jurisdiction. Many temporary jobs have been created for poverty alleviation purposes in its villages in areas such as sanitation, pandemic prevention, and community security so that impoverished people can earn more-stable incomes.

Operations have resumed at 25 of the factories that were established for poverty alleviation purposes in Debao thus far. A total of 603 employees have returned to work, and production has recovered to more than 90 percent of the rate that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.  

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