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Tibet Sees 11.5% Growth in Farmers' Income
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The per capita income of herdsmen and farmers reached 2,075 yuan (about US$260) in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region last year, a year on year rise of 11.5 percent. The growth rate was higher than the national average for the same year.

The statistics were made public at the on-going fifth meeting of the 8th Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Congress.

2005 marked the third straight year that Tibet posted a double-digit growth rate in the per capita income for herdsmen and farmers, according to the regional development and reform committee.

The living standards of local herdsmen and farmers improved markedly thanks to the construction of more infrastructure projects in pasturing and farming areas and the adjustment of agricultural structure, according to the committee.

Last year, Tibet used 1.767 billion yuan of central government-allocated funds to build 755 projects which guarantee safe drinking water supply for 85,000 local people and 850,000 head of livestock. Power plants with a combined installed capacity of 6,670 kilowatts were also built, providing electricity for 33,000 people.

The region also improved more than 3,000 hectares of irrigated farmland and improved 40,000 cattles and 45,000 sheep last year.

Development of special industries and export of laborers became new growth areas for the income of local herdsmen and farmers. Last year, Tibet sent 600,000 laborers to work in other parts of China, and their earnings totaled 700 million yuan.

Local herdsmen and farmers also enjoyed the results of poverty reduction, popularization of education, improved medical services and a national program which aims to help every village in China to have access to radio and TV programs, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the regional government. 

(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2006)

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