Sun, 28 Feb 2021

Update: Northwest China's Gansu shakes off poverty

22 Nov 2020, 13:44 GMT+10

Villagers walk at Gaxiu Village of Gahai Town in Luqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Gansu Province, June 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Chen Bin)

LANZHOU, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Northwest China's Gansu Province has lifted all its 75 impoverished counties out of poverty, the provincial government announced Saturday.

The last eight poverty-stricken counties in the prefectural areas of Linxia, Longnan, Dingxi and Qingyang have been removed from the poverty list.

In its bid to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, China plans to eradicate absolute poverty by the end of this year.

Gansu managed to lift 5.52 million registered impoverished people out of poverty since 2013, with more than half of them doing it with the help of industries, according to official figures.

From 2017 to 2019, the growth rates of farmers' income in Gansu's impoverished areas were 10.2 percent, 10.3 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively.

"Who would have thought that we could make a fortune in the barren mountains," said Liang Bing, a resident of Yaopo Village in the city of Dingxi. Potato cultivation was the only industry in the village in the past. However, local poverty-relief officials started to lead villagers to raise cows and sheep six years ago, helping increase the income of many.

"I have raised 16 cows and 16 sheep, which can guarantee an income of 150,000 yuan (22,860 U.S. dollars) this year," said Liang, 44.

Currently, the villagers are raising more than 600 cows and over 1,800 sheep.

"Life is getting so much better," Liang said.

In Gansu, many people came out of poverty with the help of industries, e-commerce and rural tourism, among others.

In Baijia Village, for instance, rural attractions drew countless tourists, making the village an instant hit on the Internet.

"I never thought a farmer like me could also jump on the tourism bandwagon," said villager Yang Caihong.

According to the provincial government, Gansu has transformed 900 villages into "demonstration villages" as part of its "beautiful village" project. It has built 225 "demonstration villages" for rural tourism. A total of 554,600 people have got rid of poverty with the help of tourism.

Though poverty has ended in Gansu, poverty-relief efforts must continue, said Ren Yanshun from the provincial poverty-relief and development office.

"Some families may have got rid of poverty, but their family businesses are still small, and there can still be risks," Ren said. "We will keep working until we achieve complete victory over poverty." ■

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