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Cattle farming projects boost quality of life in Hulunbuir grasslands by Wang Huihui , July 29, 2021
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Hongtu Gacha (a Mongolian administrative area roughly equivalent to a village), Amugulang town, New Barag Left Banner, Hulunbuir city, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, resident Uyunqimg raises cattle in order to increase her income. ( Honglin)

Deeply impoverished, New Barag Left Banner, Hulunbuir city, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, resident Baoshan lived in a 30-sq m earthen home with his family until a poverty alleviation campaign made it possible for them to purchase a 150-sq m cowshed, increase their cattle inventory to 11 head, and move into a new, 50-sq m brick home in 2020. The household’s members currently bring in 40,000 yuan (US$6,157) of annual net income per capita, and their lives have changed dramatically.

Cao Qiwu, leader of the poverty alleviation team stationed in the New Barag Left Banner, and Zheng Guofeng, secretary of Hongtu Gacha (a Mongolian administrative area roughly equivalent to a village), Amugulang town, recently conducted a follow-up visit with Baoshan’s family now that they have escaped from poverty. 

“Cao has become a good friend,” Baoshan’s wife, Uyunqimu, explained while serving milk tea and talking with the two. “Hongtu Gacha’s officials and some of the members of New Barag Left Banner’s poverty alleviation team often visit us and are like family. They provide us with moral support and encouragement in addition to helping us with material matters.”

Uyunqimu used to be reluctant to talk to people she was unfamiliar with, as herders sometimes tend to be in China’s grassland areas.The difficulties that her family experienced and the disabilities that her husband possesses tended to make her feel inferior to others and want to stay at home beforeshe escaped from poverty.

The brick residence that Uyunqimg and her husband, Baoshan,moved into recently( Honglin)

“Uyunqimu used to beshy and unwilling to talk with us when we visited her family,” Cao said. “She has become more outgoing now though.”

Hongtu Gacha leased a total of 60 head of collective-owned cattle to 12 local households while it was developing its collective economy, including Uyunqimu’s, which made it possible for them to increase their annual incomes considerably.

Uyunqimu and Baoshan eventually decided to stop leasing cattle from the collective and give this opportunity to others after they were able to buy some more of their own and moved into their new home in 2020.

“We believe that hard work will make it possible for us to continue to improve our lives,”Baoshan noted.

“Zheng lent us 10,000 yuan (US$1,539) to help us build our new home,” Uyunqimu mentioned. “The industry-oriented poverty alleviation campaign that was implemented in our area made it possible for us to increase our cattle inventory from three head in 2015 to 11 head last year. Han Deshan, secretary of a local discipline inspection committee, helps manage the cattle. Our daughter currently works at a kindergarten in Hulunbuir, and our son is in school and gets good grades...”

Poverty alleviation policies have made it possible for the 561 families that lived in poverty due to illness, natural disasters, or expenses associated with their children’s educations across the 22,000 sq km of total grassland in the New Barag Left Banner engaged in animal husbandry to escape from it in recent years and begin living happier lives.