SW China's Chongqing rolls out measures to revitalize villages
Yubei district in southwest China's Chongqing municipality has witnessed huge improvements in revitalizing villages in hilly and mountainous areas in recent years, thanks to the implementation of transformation strategies, the introduction of agricultural machinery and land consolidation campaigns, along with efforts to improve the rural living environments.
Wuniu village, in Gulu township, is one of the examples. An asphalt road flanked by traditional dwellings with white walls and black tiles runs through the village, while a clear brook flows through stretches of orchards. It's hardly imaginable that it was once an impoverished village.
Villager Duan Chengfang was seen picking plums in an orchard and loading them on a vehicle. "The vehicle directly carries plums to the sorting workshop, where the plums will be classified into over 10 grades by their size and sweetness," she said, adding that the village received a large number of orders this year.
Duan's family was once poor. "Previously, my family planted corn and sweet potatoes on about 0.2 hectares of land," she said, explaining that her family's annual income is increasing after joining the local cooperative.
The cooperative is a result of the village's pilot implementation of three transformation strategies: transforming resources to assets, capital to equity and farmers into shareholders, which has helped villagers live a prosperous life.
"Villagers contribute their land to the cooperative so that the latter can collectively use them," said Que Xingguo, Party chief of the village.
According to Que, as villagers were unwilling to do so at the outset, officials in the village took the lead in contributing their land and organizing residents to visit other successful villages. Finally, more and more villagers became shareholders of the cooperative. Que decided to plant plums after thorough consideration.
In 2017, over 33 hectares of plums in the village bore fruits. Unexpectedly, villagers didn't earn much due to technical problems and poor management.
In 2018, Wuniu attracted a company run by several competent executives. "With techniques and excellent management and marketing skills, they boosted villagers' confidence," Que noted.
Duan received training and became an orchard keeper. She can earn over 20,000 yuan (about $2,900), including dividends for land contribution and her salary.
This year, the village's sales revenue of plums increased to more than 2 million yuan from last year's 1.8 million yuan. "Now, our village plants over 20 varieties of fruits and grows vegetables under the fruit trees," Que said, adding that villagers who contributed their land can increase their annual income by more than 1,000 yuan on average.
Wuniu is not the only beneficiary of the pilot reform. Over the past three years, Yubei district has transferred over 2,173 hectares of land, generating an income of about 7.3 million yuan, with dividends of 699,200 yuan from resources and assets.
Yubei has launched land consolidation campaigns and expanded the use of agricultural machinery, with plans to to add an orchard area of more than 6,666 hectares over the next three years.
Since 2018, Yubei has also carried out programs for improving the appearance of villages and the ecological environment. It has renovated 31,000 dilapidated and old houses in rural areas, and built 13 demonstration projects of improvement of rural environment, 1,800 beautiful courtyards, and 13 demonstration villages.