Press conference on poverty alleviation and rural revitalization

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Yomiuri Shimbun:

Currently, the poverty alleviation work targets sustainable development and encouraging entrepreneurship by the rural population. I have carried out interviews in the rural areas and noticed that some farmers don't have the relevant professional knowledge. So, my question is that what is the scale of rural industrial development across the country? Are there any specific statistics available? And what are the next steps for these new rural industries?

Han Changfu:

Your question is about how to lift rural people out of poverty through development of industries and entrepreneurship. General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed that industries are the foundation of economy, and industrial development is key to poverty alleviation. Looking back over these years of much effort, spurring development of industries and entrepreneurship is the most effective way of lifting people out of poverty. I can share with you some data. To date, over 100,000 industrial bases related to the work of poverty alleviation have been built in the poverty-stricken areas. Thanks to the support of local leading companies and cooperatives, 92% of the rural poor households have been able to take part in the industrial development process.

We have noticed the issue you mentioned just now. The biggest challenge we face now in poverty alleviation is how to foster sustainable industries and establish a long-term, effective mechanism for stable poverty reduction. There still exist some other problems. For instance, the industries for poverty-relief purposes are generally weak and small in scale with short chains, and some of them need to solve the problem of homogeneity and strengthen competitiveness. We need to strengthen our work in the following three aspects:

First, we will strengthen fostering of specialized industries. Some poverty-stricken areas have unique ecological advantages which we can tap to develop distinctive industries.

Second, we will better connect production and sales. We have held various forms of promotional events to connect production with marketing. For example, many large e-commerce companies now take part in selling agricultural products from poverty-stricken areas, with efficient sales networks and channels established in many cities across the country. Such measures have played an important role in reducing poverty. We will focus on ways to connect production and marketing in an even more efficient way.

Third, we need to improve the interest-binding mechanism to encourage more poor households to participate in industrial development. A series of measures, including customized production, joint-stock partnerships, construction of industrial parks, managed services for agricultural production, and establishing poverty alleviation workshops, will be carried out. Those poor rural people with appropriate labor ability can take part in production activities, while those who lost this labor ability can receive benefits by taking up shares in a business. The central government has considered many preferential policies and allocated funds to help them share the benefits through the interest-binding mechanism.

Liu Yongfu:

I'd like to add something further. No matter whether encouraging farmers to start their businesses or developing local industries, there are many difficulties and problems in the poverty alleviation work. Some of them are rather serious. For example, some poor rural families may raise livestock, but the animals may get sick and die. Some of them try to grow fruit trees, but they don't know how to effectively prevent and control diseases and pests, and don't master the adequate fertilizing, pruning and fruit thinning methods, so they cannot have a good yield. We are taking measures as follows to cope with such issues.

First, we have organized training programs for poor rural people to enhance their skills, and we focus on training of entrepreneurship-based poverty relief leaders in poor villages. We plan to have 400,000 to 500,000 leaders in a total of 120,000 poor villages to help more villagers achieve prosperity. We already have more than 300,000 such role models in place.

Second, we have rolled out policies to support business startups by poor rural residents. For those poor people who lack initial funds for this purpose, the government will provide them with micro credit. So far, we have offered more than 580 billion yuan to over 14 million poor households, which means that nearly half of the identified poor households have received such financial support.

Third, we have carried out relevant guidance. We have introduced and promoted advanced experiences drawn from across the country and encouraged the participation of more professionals in poverty alleviation.

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