Gov’t Uses Agriculture to Reduce Poverty
April 13, 2018 By Joseph S. Margai in Hainan Province
The government of China, under the astute leadership of President Xi Jinping, has been using agriculture as a means to reducing poverty in rural China.
Zhongliao village in Hainan Province, in the southernmost of China, was once a deplorable area with its inhabitants grappling to make 30,000 to 50,000 Chinese Yuan annually from their various trades.
The village, which is occupied by the Li ethnic minority of China, has in recent years realised immense transformation and its inhabitants now could boast of owning decent and modernised houses.
According to village chairman Chen Wei, after several interventions from the government, especially in the area of agriculture, residents of Zhongliao village could now boast of making at least 120,000 to 150,000 Chinese Yuan annually which is equivalent US$23,874.
Chen Wei said that previously the villagers were very poor as they didn’t realise much profit from their farming activities, but the Chinese government has created the enabling environment for them and that has lifted many of them out of poverty.
He noted that the government’s ambition to reduce poverty has seen rapid development in the village, especially in the areas of good road network, 24-hour electricity supply, clean and safe drinking water facility, enabling environment to make money, among other things.
Chairman Chen said there are about 3,412 inhabitants of the village with 800 households and that all of them now enjoy better and improved facilities in the village, even though their predominant occupation is farming. He noted that they now do large scale farming, which has alleviated poverty.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Overseas Chinese Group, a private investment in the village, Zhaochuan Jian, said the villagers are now very proud of their village because of the rapid development and improved standard of living.
The CEO, which investment company is more into farming and housing, said they have 800-1,000 people from the village that work every day on the farm and we pay them monthly salary.
“We plant all kinds of crops and when we harvest we sell to ordinary people, owners of supermarkets, hotels, resort centres, and other areas in China. The local people have benefited from this company a lot. We have decorated all their houses in here, we build and rent some beautiful houses to them and most of them now own houses,” he said.
He, however, said local people who do not want to work for the company have the right to cultivate their own farms, adding that the village was once blighted by poverty, but standards of living has significantly improved.
“The Chinese people are hardworking and even the aged have something to do in order to improve their status. Most of the aged in Zhongliao village are weavers who weave cultural clothes and sell them to tourists,” he said.