Lyuliang city lifts more people out of poverty
Lyuliang city in northern China's Shanxi province has seen great achievements in the alleviation of poverty over past three years, according to local officials.
They said that the local Lyuliang Mountain area, which is home to 214,000 poor people, is one of the most ecologically fragile areas in China and an area heavily stricken by poverty.
In recent years, the local government has adopted ecological development as an important means to overcome poverty and achieve a win-win situation for both the environment and the income of its residents.
"We pioneered the purchase-type afforestation program. People joined local cooperatives and purchased seedlings for planting and managed what they planted independently," said Gao Qiying, Party chief of Lanxian county in the Lyuliang Mountain area.
"The forestry department then inspected and purchased people's woodlands," Gao added.
The afforestation program allowed people to get additional income from raising seedlings, planting labor services, national ecological compensation, forest land management and protection. They profited with dividends earned from participating in afforestation cooperatives and returning farmlands to forests.
To date, Lyuliang has completed the greening of 2,200 square kilometers of barren mountains, returned over 1,533 sq km of farmland to forests and planted cash forests covering 1,000 sq km, with the forest coverage rate reaching 33.2 percent in 2019.
Officials said that as a result, a total of 115,000 poor people have lifted themselves out of poverty through ecological development.
They added that the development of solar power stations in rural areas and the training of nursing workers have also helped reduce poverty in Lyuliang.
The city has trained over 50,000 nursing workers with 26,600 employed in more than 20 cities in eight provinces across China. In 2019 alone, 4,392 poor people received nursing training and 2,737 were employed.
Officials said that 461 village-level solar power stations have been built across the city, benefiting 59,000 poor people in 1,311 villages.
"The nursing worker training program solves the employment problem and the construction and operation of photovoltaic power stations solves the lack of industry in the city," said Mayor Wang Liwei.
Moving forwards, the city plans to accelerate the development of the big data industry and use technologies to better facilitate the poverty alleviation work and promote its high-quality development.