--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Farmers on the Move to Improve Their Lives
The government is facing an uphill battle to relocate more than 7 million destitute rural residents from inhospitable terrain as part of its effort to eliminate poverty.

"It's the most difficult job in China's poverty reduction blueprint," said Lu Feijie, vice-chairman of the State Council Leading Group for Poverty Alleviation and Development.

He said that funding for anti-poverty projects will be boosted, while poor farmers will be given easier access to bank loans.

"Seven million rural residents have to be moved and resettlement has proven an effective way to get them out of poverty," said Lu.

Researchers on rural issues said the relocation of needy farmers would prove a major challenge for the government.

"Resettlement is very complicated," said Jiang Zhongyi, senior researcher with the Research Centre for Rural Economy under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Some poor residents are not willing to move, said Jiang. "To persuade them, a lot of work needs to be done."

Other poverty-reduction measures such as family planning should also be introduced, Jiang suggested.

"In some places, poverty results from less resources but more people, so we should pay attention to family planning policy after relocation," said Jiang. "If not, both people who are relocated and those left behind are likely to sink back into poverty," said Jiang.

In the past decade, more than 2.7 million people have moved to new areas under a government resettlement programme. Over 90 per cent of them describe their new life as "satisfactory," according to latest statistics.

Relocations will be on a voluntary basis, Lu said.

He added that the government will help those who move to build new homes and earn a living.

According to the official, it costs 5,000-10,000 yuan (US$600-1,200), to resettle a rural resident. The government plans to spend 3-5 billion yuan (US$361-602 million) on relocation.

Since 1986, China's banks have extended special loans totalling up to 125 billion yuan (US$15 billion) to poor farmers.

Most provincial governments have developed relocation plans for needy farmers.

East China's Jiangxi Province will relocate villagers in remote mountain areas to better-off regions in the next three to five years, according to a provincial official.

In Jiangxi, there are 80,000 to 90,000 people living in areas with harsh natural environments. Most of the villagers have hard lives and are struggling to escape poverty.

As a pilot project, around 10,000 rural residents of reservoir areas and remote mountains in the counties of Xiushui, Wannian and Suichuan will be moved to more hospitable areas, with each person receiving a subsidy of 3,000 yuan (US$360).

Since a nationwide campaign to alleviate poverty was launched in 1994, the number of people living below the poverty line in Jiangxi has declined from 4.5 million to 900,000.

However, there are still many destitute people living in remote mountainous areas of the province who need more help to improve their living conditions, the local official said.

(China Daily May 21, 2003)

Migration Helps Reduce Poverty
New Villages Show Ecological Migration
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688