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Technology gives a hand to China’s industrial poverty alleviation

By Feng Hua (People's Daily)    09:43, September 23, 2019

To cure diseases, finding the root causes is important, and this also applies to poverty alleviation.

Boosting local industries is one of China’s major policies to realize targeted poverty alleviation, specifically to get the impoverished rural households out of poverty via distinctive and advantageous industries based on local resources.

However, problems in developing local industries with special characteristics are inevitable for impoverished regions, such as the lack of reliable resources, quality and competitiveness.

Fortunately, relying on the modern technological system of agricultural industry and the National Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Alliance, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has mobilized the country’s agricultural research resources to target the technological bottlenecks in developing local industries with special characteristics and improve the effectiveness of poverty alleviation.

Meigu is a county of Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture located in the hinterland of the Daliang Mountains, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Thanks to the assistance offered by the country’s national buckwheat industry technology system, Tartary buckwheat has become a pillar industry for the county to shake off poverty.

Three breeding systems have been established there at prefecture, county and township levels, significantly improving the coverage rate of improved varieties and putting an end to the previous extensive planting in which the seeds were sown by scattering, crops were never fertilized, and pesticides were blindly applied.

As a result, the unit yield of spring buckwheat in the county grew from 100 kilograms to 150 kilograms per mu (667 square meters).

According to incomplete statistics, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has deployed 120,000 scientific and education personnel, as well as 540,000 agricultural technicians to impoverished regions, establishing over 4,100 teams of experts to provide technical support for poverty alleviation through industrial development in 832 impoverished counties.

These teams have practically improved the quality and economic effectiveness of agricultural products made in impoverished regions, the endogenous power of the impoverished households, and their capability to achieve independent development.

Li Bingwu is the head of an agricultural service station in Manshuihe township, Anhui province’s Huoshan county, a county that has a long history of pig breeding. Many of the impoverished households used to think of breeding pigs for making more money, but they hesitated to put it into action due to their lack of related knowledge.

As a grass-root technician, Li is offering assistance to local farmers now through pairing programs together with his colleagues, teaching knowledge of breeding to the impoverished households.

“Li visits me a dozen times a year, helping me with our pigpen renovation, sow reserve selection, and pig disease prevention and treatment,” said farmer Zhou Peichuan from Manshuihe township, adding that it will not take long to get himself out of poverty and live a wealthy life.

Effective technical guidance is indispensable for the sustainable development of agriculture in impoverished regions.

From 2016 to 2018, China has invested a total of 1.64 billion yuan (US$230 million) to build an agricultural technical guidance system for impoverished counties, and now such technological service is available in all impoverished Chinese counties.

Thanks to the caring guidance and meticulous services offered by agricultural technicians, the industrial development and poverty alleviation in impoverished regions have achieved fruitful results in recent years.

Training the independent development capability of the farmers is the ultimate solution to tackle the issue of poverty.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has stepped up efforts to enhance education and training for farmers in impoverished regions. Since 2017, nearly 1.7 billion yuan has been spent on rural education and training for poverty alleviation via industry development.

By training the registered poor households and those who can lead other people to get rich, more farmers will embrace a better future with their own hands. 

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

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