Featured crop farming contributes to China’s poverty alleviation

By Zhang Yunhe, Cheng Huan, People’s Daily
Orah mandarins, a mandarin variety that is very popular in China nowadays, are flowering in Sede village, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture of southwest China’s Yunnan province. The plants are expected to generate profits for local growers this year.
However, when the proposal to establish an Orah mandarin plantation base in the village was raised by Zhao Qinggang, a member of the poverty-alleviation working team in the village, it encountered indifference from the villagers, and Li Yihua, who now works for the base and earns 3,500 yuan each month, even encouraged fellow villagers to not to contribute their land to the base.
What Li did was understandable, as he has his own calculations. The man explained that there would be at least two penniless years before the plants start fruiting, but his family of seven had to spend 8,400 yuan each year on food, which was not a small expenditure for him.
Zhao responded that the plantation base needed labors, too, and recommended Li to serve as management staff at the base, from which Li could even earn more than growing corns.
The poverty-alleviation team later visited the villagers from door to door to explain policies and clear up misunderstanding. It also invited technicians from a local institution of agricultural science to explain the feasibility of planting Orah mandarins, in an attempt to dispel the doubts of the villagers. Thanks to these efforts, the plantation base was established as scheduled.
Now Li is very pleased with his 3,500-yuan monthly income. Apart from management staff like Li, other villagers who work part-time at the plantation base can also make 120 yuan per day.
In addition to the Orah mandarin plantation base, oolong tea, apple and beekeeping programs are also popping up in Sede village, lifting 1,708 registered impoverished villagers out of poverty.
“To shake off poverty is only a start, and the annual dividend for villagers who contributed their land to the base is also a big sum of money,” Zhao noted.
Many regions in China are nowadays relying on plantation, processing industry and e-commerce to create jobs for impoverished people. The country achieved its poverty reduction target last year, lifting 11 million people out of poverty. 2020 remains a year of decisive victory for the elimination of poverty, and the whole country is making more efforts to help the impoverished find stable ways out of poverty.
The impoverished population in China had been reduced to 5.51 million last year from 98.99 million in 2012, with the poverty headcount ratio dropping to 0.6 percent from 10.2 percent. The number of people lifted out of poverty each year has been kept above 10 million for 7 consecutive years. The per capita net income of impoverished households grew to 9,808 yuan last year from 3,416 yuan in 2015, with an average annual growth of 30.2 percent.
Upon completion of the poverty eradication task this year, China will achieve the goals set in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, lifting around 100 million people out of poverty.
Secretary General of the United Nations said that targeted poverty reduction strategies are the only way to achieve the ambitious targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and China’s experiences can provide valuable lessons to other developing countries.

A villager picks oranges at an orchard in Xiaoshiqiao village, Xizhuang township, Jianshui county of southwest China’s Yunnan province, April 12, 2020. Photo by Lu Weiqian/People’s Daily Online

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