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Out of Poverty

CHINA TODAY,September 04, 2017 Adjust font size:

Transforming Waste Land into a Cornucopia

Until 2015, there was an 11-hectare stretch of wasteland in Xincheng Village of Xincheng Township. According to village head Xie Jiaomei, the land, which consists of alluvial farmland and terraced fields, belongs to three villages. Owing to difficult access and the high cost of manpower and material re-sources, not to mention low returns, it has remained uncultivated for years.

Early in 2016, following targeted poverty alleviation measures, these villages invested RMB 100,000 in setting up a cooperative to cultivate this land. Honey pomelo has been planted on four hectares, and round-grained rice and black rice on six hectares. Land not suitable for farming has been dug up for aquaculture. Other crops cultivated include watermelons, peanuts, and sweet potatoes. Villagers also keep more than 100 chickens.

Scarce land resources are another problem. The Jinggangshan government launched a program specifically to develop uncultivated or waste land, according to its arability and other characteristics, to plant tea, forests, and fruit trees. This produce has earned poor farmers a stable extra income.

In 2016 the city planted 654 hectares of tea trees, 1,100 hectares of forests, and 635 hectares of fruit trees. This year 399 new farmers’ cooperatives and 160 ecological farms were established.

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