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62-year-old woman earns 12,000 yuan annually as she works on a farm that has transformed her economic status

By Joseph S. Margai (People's Daily Online)    13:35, July 31, 2018

Xu Wanqin, 62, is now a happy woman with her monthly wage surpassing that of a former job

A 62-year-old woman, in Niangniangshan Mountain, an agricultural industrial park in Liupanshui City, Guizhou Province, China, has experienced a dramatic change in her economic status after taking up a job in the Niangniangshan Plateau Wetland Eco-agriculture, Tourism Development Co. Ltd., one year ago.

On Friday July 27, 2018, during a media tour funded by the Liupanshui Municipal Government and organized by People’s Daily (People.cn), this reporter caught up with Xu Wanqin, 62, who explained how her life has been transformed positively in just one year.

Looking very cheerful and energetic while weeding the farm, she told the reporter that she earns 1,200 yuan per month, approximately US$176.

In a village, where locals said it was previously very difficult for one to make an income of even 1,000 yuan per year, she revealed that she now makes an annual income of 12,000 yuan, approximately US$1,762.

Xu Wanqin, who was once a local farmer in Niangniangshan Mountain but could not make any profit, said she now works eight hours per day, seven days a week here, adding that she only rests when there is not much work to do.

Xu Wanqin explained to an African journalist through an interpreter while on duty

“All of us on this farm do different work depending on the growing condition of the fruits and vegetables. For example, if it is time to weed the farm, we will dedicate our entire time to do it. Sometimes, in the process of growing plants, there could be less to do here so we have time to rest during the day,” she said.

In many countries, 62-year-old women are mostly seen nursing their grandchildren or enjoying retirement, but Xu Wanqin shows no sign of retirement as she is still very energetic and willing to continue her job.

“I enjoy everything I do on this farm. I like my job so much and because I am earning more than the time I was cultivating my own crops, I won’t quit until my body tells me to do so. At the moment, my body still feels strong to do this job,” she said happily.

Even though she has only worked on the farm for one year, she boasts that her economic status has already improved, thanking her employer, Tao Zhengxue and the Chinese government for bringing jobs to her doorstep.

Xu Wanqin and her colleagues (some even older than her), who were working on the farm on Friday, expressed optimism and joy for the future of the village, saying that in the years to come, things will completely turn around for the inhabitants.

Tao Zhengxue, Chief Executive, Niangniangshan Plateau Wetland Eco-agriculture, Tourism Development Co. Ltd., said the average annual salary for a worker in the company is 14,600 yuan, approximately US$2,144.

Regarded in China as the brain behind the three poverty alleviation strategies, Tao Zhengxue explained that in 2012, he initiated and implemented the three strategies; turning land into assets for the benefit of all people, making villagers shareholders in any company that is operating in their localities and capital equity for all residents in the poverty alleviation project.

“The entire farm land occupies a total of area of 270,000 square meters and covers 11 villages. There are 9,750 people from this village working here but there are outsiders as well,” he disclosed.

He said in his farm they plant blueberries, prickly pears, kiwi fruit and tomatoes among other fruit and vegetables.

Tao Zhengxue thanked the Communist Party of China (CPC) for supporting the poverty alleviation project in the province.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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