Collective economy helps villagers shake off poverty

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NANNING: Wei Yuefang, who lives in south China’s karst mountains, no longer needs to share her house with cattle and pigs. This is after she relocated the livestock to a barn built by the village, and jointly used by poverty-stricken farmers like herself.
Wei had raised draught animals under the same roof with the family for decades, and bidding farewell to the old lifestyle has allowed the 62-year-old, from Luanzheng Village, Long’an County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, to dare think big.
Luanzheng Village faces one of the most severe land degradation problems in karst areas. Rocky desertification has depleted arable lands and made the roads inaccessible.
The younger generations moved to cities for a better life, while those who stayed struggled to make ends meet. Households relied on cattle to cultivate the land for farming, and transportation depended on human labor and horses.
The lives of villagers, however, began to turn around in 2016 as the collective economy started reshaping the karst village.
Tian Yi, a 39-year-old poverty alleviation official, can be credited for translating the ideas into reality.
Tian came to the village in 2016 and soon noticed that villagers are experienced in raising livestock. He therefore encouraged them to adopt livestock farming.
He helped forge an agreement among local government and villagers.
With the financial support of the government, a beef cattle husbandry center was established. Villagers were given an opportunity to become shareholders, and enterprises were introduced to run the business.
Meanwhile, the local government renovated the infrastructure of roads, electricity, and water to facilitate cooperation. – Agencies