Hubei injects financial support to poverty alleviation

By Ma Yuan, People’s Daily
Central China’s Hubei province has helped impoverished rural households develop pillar industries and increase income by offering financial support such as micro and small loans, organizing enterprises to set up online platforms, and improving the rural credit platform.
Cai Guangmei from Caifanggou village, Danjiangkou of Hubei province runs a poultry farm that houses 1,500 chickens, an orange orchard covering 26.67 hectares, and 3.33 hectares of pumpkin patches. His farming business is prospering.
However, an orange orchard was the only source of income for Cai’s family three years ago. Cai wanted to open a poultry farm but suffered from the lack of capital.
In June 2017, the Hubei Rural Credit Cooperatives lent 100,000 yuan ($14,200) to Cai with discounted interest rate. With the money, Cai implemented the project and established and expanded his farming business gradually. Now, the annual net income of his family has reached 150,000 yuan.
Like Cai, Xue Yong from Gucheng county, is also among the many farmers benefiting from financial targeted poverty alleviation in Hubei.
The story of Xue getting rid of poverty and becoming better off has surprised his fellow villagers, as the man with cerebral palsy used to struggle to make ends meet via chicken farming. In August 2016, his family was thrown into a more desperate condition because it faced a 40,000-yuan tuition fee of his sister who was then admitted by a university.
After learning Xue’s situation and knowing that his condition met the standards for poverty alleviation loan issuance, the Hubei Rural Credit Cooperative immediately lent him 80,000 yuan. After paying the tuition fees for his sister, Xue used the rest of the money to develop his poultry business.
Now, Xue’s chicken farm houses more than 3,000 chicks. Via e-commerce platforms, he could sell over 100 chickens and several thousand eggs per month and make 80,000 yuan each year. He has also become a famous chicken farming and diseases specialist in his hometown.
By the end of September 2019, the Hubei Rural Credit Cooperatives had provided financial services for 1.21 million impoverished households and issued a total of 17 billion yuan in micro-credit loans, helping 300,000 impoverished households increase income directly or indirectly.
Financial targeted poverty alleviation offers not just timely help; it should make the assistance regular so as to facilitate long-term economic development. By focusing on areas of weakness in social and economic development of impoverished regions, China Construction Bank (CCB) Hubei branch introduced resources, capital, technologies and solutions to poor regions. The practice has turned impoverished regions from recipients of “blood transfusion” into ones capable of “blood creation”.
Zhu Yanyang, deputy governor of CCB Hubei branch, introduced that the bank had issued more than 10 billion yuan of targeted poverty alleviation loans to 107,637 registered impoverished households, and offered pairing financial assistance to 126 impoverished villages.
Sweet potato farming is a pillar industry for poverty alleviation in Hong’an county, Huanggang. Through developing dried sweet potato noodles, local food companies built sweet potato and wheat planting bases and signed long-term supply contracts with local farmers, forming a partnership among enterprises, planting bases, cooperatives and local villagers.
Financial institutions play an important role in supporting the continuous development of poverty alleviation projects launched by enterprises. In recent years, the Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) Hubei branch has enlarged loan support to characteristic industries and poverty alleviation projects in impoverished areas, said Deng Jianhua, deputy governor of PSBC Hubei branch.
The branch has issued loans worth nearly 10 billion yuan for targeted poverty alleviation, helping more than 50,000 impoverished households get rid of poverty and become better off, Deng added.
While funding poverty alleviation projects, the PSBC Hubei branch has spread financial knowledge to impoverished areas. It sent grassroot credit clerks to villages to publicize financial knowledge in a targeted manner, which has effectively helped impoverished people increase their financial literacy and get rich. The bank has also accelerated construction of the credit system in impoverished areas, helping form a positive scenario in which a good credit score enables the borrowers get more loans from the bank for developing industries.

Locals manufacture beddings at a poverty alleviation workshop in Longyun village, Shiyan, Hubei province, March 16, 2020. Cao Zhonghong/People’s Daily Online