Another 500,000 people in Gansu Province in northwest China are expected to get out of poverty by the end of this year, said a government official.
"By that time, more than 11 million poverty-stricken people in our province will have adequate food, drinking water, clothes and decent housing," said Xu Jin, who heads an aid-the-poor office of the provincial government.
By then the poor will account for only 3.5 percent of the province's population of around 25 million.
When the Chinese government made a plan in 1983 to aid Gansu, the number of the poor in the province was 12.34 million.
During the past 18 years, the government has tried a number of ways to make people in the province have a better life.
Solving the food and drinking water problems has been of top priority. The government has helped farmers reclaim land on the barren Loess Plateau and build small water storage facilities to prevent rain from flowing away.
To raise grain output, technicians were sent to teach farmers on how to use plastic sheets to keep of soil temperature and moisture at a healthy level.
Farmers have also been advised to plant potatoes, corn and herbs that are suitable for growth in a cool climate on the plateau.
Meanwhile, a group of farmers have prospered after starting their own potato starch processing mills and have started to plant olive trees in mountain areas.