Financial loans empower rural green development in southwest China

Xinhua, July 05, 2023
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He Xikang monitors the growth of pigs through an online platform at a pig farm in Gantang Village of southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feb. 1, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Jingya)

In his office at an ecological pig farm, He Xikang begins his day early in the morning, diligently monitoring the growth of pigs through an online platform, which has become an integral part of his daily routine.

He, 43, manages the pig farm located in Gantang Village in southwest China's Guizhou Province. The farm encompasses six piggeries, accommodating over 6,700 pigs.

Facing financial constraints amidst a downturn in the pig market in June last year, He contemplated selling his pigs to alleviate the cash crunch.

However, his wife suggested an alternative approach, which involved borrowing 200,000 yuan (about 27,860 U.S. dollars) from the local bank and waiting patiently for the pig prices to rebound.

He followed her advice and sought a loan from the rural credit cooperative, extending his pig-rearing by ten days.

"Eventually, the pig prices surged, enabling me to repay the loan and earn a substantial profit of 170,000 yuan," He said.

He benefited from a streamlined process of applying for loans from the rural credit cooperative through a mobile phone. Within minutes of submitting the application, he received a text message confirming the arrival of the funds.

At present, the annual output value of his pig farm has reached 13 to 14 million yuan. Inspired by the positive experience, he now plans to utilize loans to purchase breeding pigs, diversify his stock, and fortify his farm's resilience against price volatility.

In recent years, financial institutions in Guizhou Province have made concerted efforts to promote green finance and inclusive finance, channeling credit funds toward rural industries with distinct features.

Aligned with the objectives of poverty alleviation and rural revitalization, Guizhou has pioneered a path of "financial flows" aimed at empowering rural green development.

"Fueled by the growing number of entrepreneurs and investors in rural areas, the demand for credit is also increasing," said Kuan Yuejin, deputy director of a rural credit cooperative in Shuicheng District, Liupanshui City.

"Our cooperative has taken a proactive approach to tailor financial service programs in order to support various rural business entities and ensure that credit is granted to all eligible candidates," Kuan said.

By the end of 2022, the loan balances of the rural credit cooperative of Shuicheng reached 7.5 billion yuan. The cooperative has played a crucial role in supporting agricultural and small and micro-enterprises.

Just a few years ago, Xinpu Township in Guizhou was plagued by severe desertification. However, the region has undergone a remarkable transformation through dedicated environmental preservation efforts and focused industrial development. It has become a renowned hub for cattle raising, offering delectable local beef that graces tables across the nation.

Gao Zhilin, a resident of Wolong Village in Xinpu, made the decision to return to his hometown after working in an electronics factory in Zhejiang Province.

In 2022, he invested over 1 million yuan to establish a family pasture and raise more than 100 Guanling cattle. To finance his venture, Gao secured loans totaling over 700,000 yuan from local rural credit cooperatives and rural commercial banks.

"Free-range Guanling cattle grow slowly, but their beef commands high prices. I am grateful that the financial institutions helped me overcome the hurdle of capital shortage," Gao said.

This photo taken on Nov. 26, 2022 shows Gao Zhilin's cattle farm in Wolong Village of Xinpu Township, Guanling County, southwest China's Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Li Jingya)

Guanling cattle, the top cattle breed in Guizhou, has emerged as a key industry in Guanling County. It has benefited 11,000 households and 50,000 individuals, resulting in an increase in average household income by over 8,000 yuan.

Acknowledging the potential in the industry, the Anshun branch of the Bank of Guizhou injected 314 million yuan in credit funds to boost its development.

Huang Yutang, vice president of the branch, said that the bank established a finance department in December 2021, which is responsible for delivering financial services to farmers, among other duties. The bank has also deployed dedicated staff to cater to the needs of local farmers.

Currently, the branch has more than 200 financial service stations in Anshun, which have significantly reduced the gap in accessing financial loans and resolved the issue of limited rural financial services.