How rural revitalization is reshaping one Tibetan village

(Xinhua) 13:03, April 10, 2023

Paljor (L), head of a sheep farming cooperative, talks with local village cadre Li Delin in Shikashok Village, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, April 5, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhang Rufeng)

LHASA, April 9 (Xinhua) -- As the first rays of sunshine reach Shikashok Village in China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Paljor, 49, cracks a herding whip to drive more than 680 sheep from their pen.

Paljor has had an impressive herding career and is now the head of a sheep farming cooperative with the help of local cadres.

"Last year, I sold more than 100 sheep and earned over 100,000 yuan (about 14,555 U.S. dollars)," Paljor said. "I will earn more money by selling sheep's wool when the weather gets warmer in June and July."

Sheep farming is among a number of rural industries that have breathed new life into Shikashok Village, which is located approximately 3 km away from the Yarlung Zangbo River.

It has recently seen more than 10 rural cooperatives founded in an array of sectors, including furniture, farm machinery and cattle farming, local village cadre Li Delin said, adding that the annual per capita income of residents has exceeded 20,000 yuan.

When Paljor herds his sheep, his mother Trinley Chodron brings fresh milk home from the farm to make yak butter and other types of food.

Her living room is spacious and equipped with an array of home appliances. On top of a traditional Tibetan-style table are butter tea and soft drinks such as Coca-Cola for guests.

It is hard to believe that villagers once lived in run-down houses and could not make ends meet due to poverty.

"In the past 10 years, the village has taken on a new look," said Trinley Chodron, 81.

Konchok Tsomo and her husband Gao Yanwen also benefit from the booming industries in the village. The couple is running a government-funded vegetable planting base.

All 48 greenhouses across an area of 50 mu (about 3.33 hectares) have been put into use, growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. During the busy season, the base can employ over 20 villagers.

"Now villagers can eat tomatoes, watermelons and other vegetables and fruits grown on our base," Konchok Tsomo said, adding that the base has become the largest vegetable supplier for a dozen convenience stores and Tibetan restaurants in Shikashok.

Shikashok is replacing its dirt path with a concrete road that stretches 3.3 km. The village is becoming increasingly connected to the outside world through adjacent highways.

Padma Tsewang, a local postal worker, has witnessed the village's logistics changes.

"In recent years, villagers have received more parcels, and many young people even buy daily necessities online. It is convenient and fast," he said.

Tibet plans to implement 1,337 rural revitalization projects in 2023, with an estimated investment of 14.67 billion yuan.

The projects aim to promote the development of various sectors in rural areas, such as high-standard farmlands, agriculture and animal husbandry.

After years of efforts, rural residents in Tibet have seen improved livelihoods. In 2021, the per capita disposable income of rural residents in the region reached 16,935 yuan, about three times the income level recorded in 2012.

"Rural industries have become our cash cow, and villagers' wallets have been growing. Shikashok Village stands as a good example of Tibet's progress in rural revitalization," Li said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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