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NW China to lift 100,000 people out of poverty

(Xinhua)

09:43, March 11, 2012

LANZHOU - Over the past few days, Rugur and his partners have been reconsidering how to help their village in northwest China's Gansu Province shake off poverty and make more money.

Rugur is head of the remote Haikang village in the province's Gannan Tibetan autonomous prefecture. The village has vast pasture and beautiful landscape, but is in need of fund and technology for development.

"On one hand, we need to raise chickens and pigs; on the other, we have to figure out a way to develop tourism," he said.

At the end of last year, China raised the national poverty alleviation standard from 1,274 yuan (202 US dollars) to 2,300 yuan, including more people in Gannan prefecture into the poverty alleviation project.

According to the new standard, there are 430,000 people living in poverty, or 73 percent of the prefecture's rural population, said Wei Jianrong, secretary of the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC).

Like Rugur, most grass-roots cadres in other villages are also thinking of ways to lift people out of poverty as mapped out in the prefecture's five-year plan on poverty alleviation.

According to the newly-released poverty alleviation development plan of the prefecture from 2011 to 2015, Gannan plans to lift more than 100,000 people out of poverty in the five years.

In the prefecture's Zhugqu, or Zhouqu county, where devastating mudslide razed the county and left more than 1,500 people dead in August 2010, China's State Council has earmarked 178 million yuan in the poverty alleviation and disaster prevention program since last May.

Commercial crops such as grape, walnut and herbs for traditional Chinese medicine were planted for industrial development in 30 villages of the county, and dams were built to prevent further geological disasters, according to the prefecture's poverty alleviation office.

The program will feed 10,400 people living in poverty, and increase the annual income of people to 3,000 yuan by 2015, according to the office.

Poverty alleviation fund will also be poured to the renovation of households, electricity, drinking water projects road construction and job trainings for poverty-stricken people, said Mao Shengwu, head of the prefecture.

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