NW China’s Shaanxi takes active steps to boost rural residents’ happiness and income

(People's Daily Online) 13:57, August 08, 2022

Photo taken on Aug. 3, 2022 shows a tourist and his daughter in a scenic area in Zhujiawan village, Zhashui county of Shangluo city, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. (People’s Daily/Wu Kai)

By taking advantage of local resources, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province has enabled people in rural areas to feel more satisfied and happier through multiple measures, such as fruit planting, rural tourism, and follow-up support for those who have been relocated from inhospitable areas.

In recent years, Shaanxi has built up its strength in the fruit industry and regarded the sector as an important channel to increase farmers’ incomes. In 2021, the added value of the province’s fruit industry reached 66 billion yuan (about $9.78 billion), up 7 billion yuan from the previous year.

Known for its winter jujubes, Xiaopo village in Dali county of Weinan city sees an efficient increase in villagers’ per capita income, which grew from less than 1,000 yuan 20 years ago to over 25,000 yuan.

Located near the Yellow River, the village was home to some saline-alkali lands that cause low crop yields, leaving many of these farmlands uncultivated.

To address the problem, Xue Anquan, Party secretary of the village, led villagers to plant saline-alkali tolerant jujubes and grow the fruit trees in greenhouses.

With the help of experts, villagers have improved planting techniques and ensured that winter jujubes will be able to hit the market in mid-and late May, Xue introduced, adding that the prices of the fruits can multiply.

An increasing number of young and middle-aged people have been engaging in the fruit industry in Xiaopo village these years, said Xue, explaining that some of them have become technicians who help others manage jujube orchards, enabling them to earn an extra yearly income of tens of thousands of yuan.

Photo taken on Aug. 3, 2022 shows a production line at Chinese automaker Geely’s plant in Baoji city, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. (People’s Daily Online/Zhang Liyang)

The winter jujube planting area in Xiaopo village totals 15,000 mu (1,000 hectares) with an annual output value of 120 million yuan. Xue aims to increase the village’s total output value of winter jujubes to over 200 million yuan.

Zhu Hongtao, a winter jujube grower in the village, planted over 70 mu of the fruit together with his relatives and friends.

“The price per kilogram is about 20 yuan. It’s expected that our net income will reach hundreds of thousands of yuan,” Zhu said happily.

Xiaopo village is one of the 12 villages with an annual output value of more than 100 million yuan in Dali county. So far, the county’s winter jujube plantation area has reached 420,000 mu with an annual output value of over 5 billion yuan.

With rural tourism on the rise, more and more villages in Shaanxi have made continuous efforts to develop themselves in this area.

Rural tourism has been thriving in Zhujiawan, a village located in the Qinling Mountains in Zhashui county of Shangluo city.

The village built a scenic area featuring old residences and various tools and necessities used by the local people for production and living, provoking surges of nostalgia.

“Visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature and find nostalgia here,” said Mao Jiafeng, Party secretary of Zhujiawan village.

The village built traditional dwellings in the scenic area for villagers. “After receiving training sessions, we use the dwellings to run agritainment and homestay businesses, increasing the yearly income of each household by an average of more than 50,000 yuan,” said Chen Daofeng, owner of one of the dwellings.

Cai Dingshun and his wife, both in their 60s, run a shop selling glutinous rice cake with potatoes in the scene area. “We sometimes earn more than 1,000 yuan per day when business is good,” said Cai’s wife.

Zhujiawan village is developing its homestay business in a way that both enriches the experiences of tourists, while also increasing villager's income. “Such development is inspirational, and it is worth learning for countries and regions along the ‘Belt and Road’,” noted Yasef Francisco Calderón, a Cuban reporter on a media tour organized by the 2022 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road which took him to Zhujiawan.

Since 2021, Shaanxi has made solid efforts to provide follow-up support for those who have been relocated from inhospitable areas. All 2,116 poverty-alleviation resettlement sites in the province have been covered by community-level service facilities.

“We will continue to offer follow-up support for those who have been relocated from inhospitable areas and ensure that they live and work in peace and contentment,” said an official from the Shaanxi Provincial Rural Revitalization Bureau.

Photo shows winter jujube greenhouses in Dali county, Weinan city, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. (People’s Daily/Liu Fawei)

Wang Min, 35, is a resident of Jinping Community, a resettlement site in Laoxian township, Pingli county of Ankang city, works for a toy workshop in the community where she earns 2,500 yuan per month.

Wang once lived an old house hidden deep in the mountains. Back then, she had to walk for half an hour to the nearest highway, and her son needed to take the long way to school.

Wang moved to her new spacious home in Jinping Community in 2017, thanks to a poverty alleviation relocation project, and found a job in a toy workshop. The community is equipped with facilities such as a supermarket, a school, a hospital, and bus stations. Including the toy workshop, there are four community factories, which provide stable employment opportunities for residents.

The community has also launched many other programs to improve public services so that residents can have a better sense of happiness, said Jiang Huili, Party secretary of the community. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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