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Jiangxi promotes new business activities to eliminate poverty by Zhao Binyu,October 09, 2020 Adjust font size:

To involve impoverished people in new businesses, enabling sustainable poverty alleviation

To promote profitable businesses as a means of poverty alleviation through development and marketing

To develop the economy at county level, realizing sustainable development in poor counties and improving the impact and quality of poverty alleviation

New businesses are the key to consolidating achievements in poverty alleviation.

Poyang, Yudu and Yugan are three counties in Jiangxi province with a total population of around 3 million. Developing new economic activities has been the main channel for local residents to increase their incomes.

Poor households building new businesses

Yugan county is located in Poyang Lake area. It has a population of 1.09 million. Before the launch of poverty alleviation measures, 126,000 people were registered as poor. Zhu Xizhen, a poor resident of Houshan village in Ruihong Town, formerly earned his living making shrimp cages. He has now learnt how to cultivate mushrooms. Working in a mushroom cooperative in the village has increased his earnings to 80 yuan per day and a 2000 yuan year-end bonus. His family no longer lives in poverty.

Hu Wei, secretary of Yugan Party committee, explains that Yugan hosts numerous fields and fallow land in the lake area. As a result, activities such as rice and mushroom cultivation, farming shrimps and other aquatic products, and photovoltaic power generation on the lake can be developed as local conditions permit. Each poor household participates in at least two poverty alleviation activities providing both short-term and long-term income. Mushroom cultivation now covers 116 poor villages, benefiting almost 9,000 poor households.

What poor households need most in order to create businesses is capital. Yudu county, located in the poverty-stricken Luoxiao mountainous areas, decided to issue credits to address the problem. Since 2019 it has issued more than 2,600 loans to a value of 134 million yuan, providing poor households with the capital they need.

Xie Lailong was a member of a poor household from Pojiao village in Hefeng Town. He had to work away from his hometown all the year round. "I barely earned enough money to make ends meet,” he says. “Without a loan, I would never have dared to go into business for myself." In 2019, he applied for a 50,000 yuan preferential loan to develop vegetable greenhouses, bringing him an income increase of 30,000 yuan that year.

Yudu prioritizes vegetable cultivation as a channel for poverty alleviation. It has created an incentive and subsidy system in which poor households who participate are eligible for receiving 300 yuan per mu (15 mus equal to 1 hectare). Cooperatives can apply for a loan of up to 100,000 yuan per poor household involved, up to a maximum of 3 million yuan. Leading agricultural enterprises and cooperatives that involve poor households are eligible for loans with discounted interest rates of 50%. All this means that funds are efficiently directed towards poor recipients.  

Leading enterprises play a key role in developing businesses. Through adopting a model structured on "company + base + cooperative + farmers", and cooperating with Pohu rice company, a leading local enterprise, Yuefeng town has built a rice and shrimp farming base covering almost 700 hectares, benefiting more than 120 poor households.

A local resident, Shi Congping, explains that in the past shrimp farming was a matter of luck, but it is now conducted in a much more businesslike way. The price of the same shrimp in the morning and evening can differ by more than 1 yuan, and it also differs greatly in different markets.

Local data shows that developing new businesses has become the main channel for poor households to increase their incomes in the three counties. In Yugan for example, more than 95% of the county's 31,000 poverty-stricken households have increased their incomes in this way. "Eliminating poverty means promoting economic activities adapted to local conditions,” says Li Huajiao, director of the Yugan County Poverty Alleviation Office. “Only by relying on cooperatives and leading enterprises, and enabling the poor to participate in business development, can we fully succeed in the cause of poverty alleviation."

Internet helps farmers increase incomes

Almost every family in Tali village of Poyang County works in processing aquatic products. Thanks to e-commerce, the dried fish made by Mao Yanzhi’s family has become popular, and their produce can bring them an annual income of more than 30,000 yuan.

Lian Ruiqin, deputy director of Poyang's Commerce Bureau, says that Poyang county has been experimenting with a model of “agricultural and sideline products + e-commerce + poor households”, which effectively generates economic benefits by improving the purchasing, packaging and selling of products through e-commerce platforms.  

Poyang is one of China’s fourth batch of comprehensive rural demonstration counties for e-commerce. The value of its online trade has increased significantly in recent years, from 24 million yuan in 2017 to 42 million yuan in 2019.

With the Internet poverty alleviation campaign making good progress, projects involving network coverage and rural e-commerce networks have been encouraged in the three counties. To date, almost one-third of poor villages in Yugan County have set up e-commerce sites.

Wang Shuijuan, who is in charge of an e-commerce site in Laohukou village, Meigang township, says that through the site rice, sugar, wild arrowroot powder, and other agricultural products produced by the local poor sell well all over the country.

To support agricultural and sideline products that were difficult to sell as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Yudu launched e-commerce activities. Ye Chengguo is a contractor from Jiafu Planting and Breeding Cooperative in Datang village of Lingbei town. After his chilies were promoted by a local official through the Internet, he was surprised not only by an increase in online orders, but also by many customers coming to pick their own chilies directly in his greenhouses.

“Only when products are sold and poor people get the real money can we say that building new businesses contributes to income growth,” says Rao Zhenhua, deputy director of the Poverty Relief Office of Jiangxi province. According to him, the three counties support not only business development, but also sales and marketing. E-commerce platforms are utilized to attract customers and expand markets, improving the revenues from business-driven poverty alleviation.

Labor resources drive poverty alleviation

Since the poverty alleviation campaign was launched, the three counties have witnessed steadily growth in electricity consumption.

Behind this change is the fact that the counties have been taking advantage of their ample labor resources. They have vigorously promoted investment and organized the orderly transfer of coastal industries inland.

Zhengpu Auto Parts Company, headquartered in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, had many employees from Jiangxi province. A year ago, it set up a factory in Yugan county. “Labor-intensive enterprises should be close to places that have plenty of labor,” says Cheng Mingguang, general manager of the company. Since work and production resumed this year after the COVID-19 epidemic, the factory has employed about a hundred local people, including more than 20 classified as impoverished.

Introducing labor-intensive industrial enterprises provides local poor people with stable employment and incomes. Yudu county has a population of 1.13 million, but more than 400,000 people work outside of the county, including 300,000 working in garment factories in coastal cities. In recent years, Yudu has been upgrading its own low value-added garment industries.

In just a few years, its textile and garment industry has expanded to more than 2,200 enterprises, and the output value has surpassed 45 billion yuan. While organizing the transfer of industries from the coast, Yudu has integrated a range of vocational training resources and provided free employment and entrepreneurial skills training, improving the skills and increasing the employability of poor residents.

In Poyang country, Pailou village set up a business park in 2008. Eight enterprises have now settled there, employing almost 300 local workers. In 2019, the wage bills of three large labor-intensive resin decoration processing enterprises amounted to tens of millions of yuan.

Earlier this year, the three counties launched a new online initiative to attract investment. They have since signed nearly 40 projects to a total value of almost 18 billion yuan, making a significant contribution to poverty alleviation.

“When big rivers have water, the small ones are filled,” says Lan Jie, the Party chief of Yudu county. He believes that only by developing their economy can poor counties achieve sustainable development. This will give the government more capacity and resources for poverty alleviation, and enable them to ensure the quality and consolidate the fruits of their efforts.








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