Jinggangshan makes poverty alleviation progress developing local industries

By Zhang Liying
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, November 25, 2019
Adjust font size:
Bee breeding boxes on the Jinggang Mountains in Jinggangshan, a county-level city in east China's Jiangxi province [Photo courtesy of the Helenbergh Foundation]

China's poverty alleviation campaign has entered a critical stage as the 2020 deadline of eradicating this scourge is approaching. For local officials in Jinggangshan, the first region in the country to be taken off the list of "impoverished counties", efforts must persist beyond 2020 to continuously improve people's livelihood.

Jinggangshan, the heartland of the early revolutionary activities of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in east China's Jiangxi province, was removed from the impoverished list in February, 2017. Focusing on development of local industries, the county-level city has never slackened its efforts to ensure a sustainable income for all.

Bee breeding creates a better life

With a forest coverage rate of more than 80%, the county has a long history of beekeeping. The development of the sector at Dongshang Township received a boost after a honey bee breeding cooperative was founded in June, 2018, with support from Helenbergh, a real estate developer based in Guangdong province.

After signing a contract with the local government to help reduce poverty, Helenbergh donated bee breeding boxes to impoverished households, organized technical training, and built the first comb honey production line in Jiangxi, with a daily capacity of more than 2,000 jars.

He Weiwen, secretary of the CPC Dongshang Township Committee, said it was difficult to develop industries or build brands while villagers were breeding bees separately. "So, we established the cooperative with the assistance of a leading enterprise in order to integrate resources and bring in successful business management practices."

According to Yi Wei, general manager of the cooperative and deputy secretary-general of the Helenbergh Foundation, the cooperative also purchases honey from the beekeepers at above-market prices. This has helped increase income for 51 poverty-stricken families from nine villages of Dongshang.

The sales of honey produced by the cooperative has exceeded three million yuan ($426,420) so far, and all the profits have gone to poverty alleviation and rural development across the township.

"We hope to develop 'Jinggang Honey' into a well-known food brand in China and jointly create a better life with villagers," Yi said.

Lotus pods in the waters near Qujiang Village in Jinggangshan, a county-level city in east China's Jiangxi province [Photo courtesy of Ye Weizhu, first secretary of Qujiang Village in charge of poverty alleviation]

Mountainous village reaps benefits from lotus economy

Qujiang Village in the west of Jinggangshan was raised out of poverty in 2017. However, Ye Weizhu, a poverty alleviation official assigned there in 2015, still fretted about how to prevent the village from falling back into difficulties. He was acutely aware that cultivating industries based on local advantages was essential.

Learning that some households regularly plant lotus and the village possessed high-quality water and soil, Ye thought lotus seeds might become a new stable source of income for villagers.

A cooperative was founded to mobilize and help more villagers plant lotus through various measures such as providing free seedlings, fertilizers along with technical support. By 2018, more than six hectares of idle land at the village had been turned over to lotus growing.

The cooperative also created new jobs by hiring villagers to apply fertilizers and pick up lotus seeds. Thanks to these development, Qujiang's average per capita annual income for 2019 is expected to be double that achieved in 2015, reaching 7,000 yuan ($995.27).

Ye Weizhu, first secretary in charge of poverty alleviation of Qujiang Village in Jinggangshan, a county-level city in east China's Jiangxi province [Photo by Zhang Liying/China.org.cn]

"Without local industries, it's very hard to consolidate our poverty alleviation progress. In addition to simply giving financial assistance, it's more important for us to help impoverished people earn a living on their own," Ye said.

Two years away from retirement, Ye does not worry too much about the future of Qujiang, as he knows the lotus industry will continue to boost the villagers' income.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter