Young people become important driving force for rural revitalization in E China’s Shandong

Zhang Yueqiao, an Internet celebrity, sells hawthorn berries via livestreaming in an e-commerce industrial park in Tangdiyu village, Shuiquan township, Shanting district, Zaozhuang city, east China's Shandong province, Nov. 9. (Photo by Liu Mingxiang/People's Daily Online)

Young people are the beneficiaries of and important contributors to rural revitalization. Since 2018, east China’s Shandong province has launched and implemented a program to help young people make innovations and start their own businesses in rural areas.


So far, the province has selected and trained 128,000 young role models in villages, inspiring a great number of young people to actively contribute to rural revitalization in the front line.


In Yanmapo village, Huacun township, Sishui county, Jining, Shandong province, greenhouses are arrayed neatly in rows.


Experts can provide guidance online via video link on when to water the crops and fertilize the soil, according to Wang Fei, Party branch secretary of Yanmapo village. He is excited about the intelligent planting technologies supported by Internet of Things (IoT).


After retiring from military service, he has served as auxiliary police officer, run steamed-bun business and sold mobile phones. Eventually, he decided to return to his hometown and pick up farm work.


Wang is grateful that Huacun township organized an agricultural investigation group back then, and he was a member of the group.


It was through the investigation that he gained more knowledge of the planting techniques of fruits such as yellow peaches and watermelons, said Wang.


After the investigation trip, he started to grow fruits in greenhouses during the day and learn related scientific and technological knowledge at night.


His hard work paid off. In 2014, the villager witnessed a bumper crop of fruits for the first time and earned nearly 100,000 yuan (about $15,303).


As his greenhouses continue to yield rich fruits, Wang has also hired poverty-stricken residents in the surrounding areas and taught villagers planting technologies for free.


Meanwhile, the local Party committee and government have supported Wang’s poverty alleviation efforts through the combination of government funds and social capital.


Up till now, Wang has provided over 150 jobs and helped more than 500 poor households.


Wang Minggang, a 31-year-old villager in Shimenzikou village, Jiaolai neighborhood, Jiaozhou city, Shandong province, has also helped his fellow villagers become rich by running fruits greenhouses.


Wang is the person in charge of a family farm in Shimenzikou village. After he retired from the army and came back to his hometown in 2014, he has actively learned planting technologies and tried to grow cherries in greenhouses.


When the cherries matured that year, over 3,000 tourists came to the greenhouses for cherry-picking experience.


Through repeated trials and continuous learning, Wang’s business has got bigger and bigger, with the number of his greenhouses rising from one to nine.


He has also shared the knowledge and techniques he knew with local villagers to help more people become better off.


As the COVID-19 epidemic has affected offline sales of his fruits this year, Wang learned to promote fruits via online channels. By filming the fruits in greenhouses and releasing short videos on short video sharing platforms, Wang has effectively boosted the online sales of his fruits day by day.


“I couldn’t have made it without the help of the Jiaozhou municipal committee of the Communist Youth League of China,” said Wang, adding that the committee has not only offered people information about the market, but provided support and guidance through relevant policies, effectively helping young entrepreneurs in rural areas with problems concerning platforms, technologies and sales channels.


While running his own business in the past few years, Wang has received the guidance and help from the local government personally, according to him, who said he has the confidence and determination to run the family farm well.


Since last year, Wang has inspired over 100 villagers in Jiaolai neighborhood to start their own businesses.


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