|Tan works in the fields. [Xinhua]|
"Left-behind" woman Tan Shulan from Nanping Village, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, recently shared her experiences helping local villagers escape poverty by developing the local mustard tuber industry.
Qin Guangfu, secretary of the Party branch committee of Nanping Village, said: "Tan has lifted locals out off poverty by both managing the orchard and interplanting the cabbage heads."
In June 2014, Tan's family was rated as an impoverished household, with their three children studying in the local school. To better support the family, Tan's husband chose to work in east China's Zhejiang Province, whilst Tan stayed at home to take care of the children while working in the fields.
Since the implementation of a targeted poverty alleviation policy, an enterprise in local Shizhu County has conferred 329 acres of land to develop fruit-related industries in the village of Nanping. Tan subcontracted 8.23 acres of citrus trees from that enterprise in 2016, with the help of officials from the work team dispatched to the village, the village Party branch committee, and the village committee. She was held responsible for the regular management of weeding, fertilizing, pruning, and hilling up soils, as well as preventing insects.
She could earn 1,500 yuan a month from the job.
Moreover, in order to maximize the economic benefits of the land and her personal income, Tan interplanted the cabbage heads in the orchard, after obtaining the relevant leaders' consent.
"In the autumn of 2016, I tried planting 0.823 acres of mustard tuber in the orchard and the monthly income amounted to 4,500 yuan. I then increased my planting area to 2.96 acres in 2017 and my income increased to 16,000 yuan," Tan said while weeding.
"The yield per 0.16 acre can reach nearly 150 kilograms and the cabbage heads are routinely purchased at the price of 0.3 yuan half a kilogram," she added.
With her monthly income from managing the orchard and interplanting mustard tuber reaching 18,000 yuan, Tan was lifted out of poverty at the end of 2016.
Tan is definitely a busy woman, as she also feeds three pigs and 20 chicken and ducks, aside from managing the orchard and interplanting mustard tuber and chili.
She routinely begins work at 5.30 am and doesn't rest until far into night. At times, she even makes do with two meals a day.
Although she's busy everyday, she still feels happy.
Cleaning the expressway is the responsibility of a public-welfare project, and those who do it receive a 5,000-yuan-a-year salary. Despite this, Tan has to find time amidst her hectic schedule to clean the ditch sludge and grass alongside the road.
Industrial development is the foundation of poverty alleviation.
This year, Tan expanded the planting scale of her mustard tuber.
"I've planted 7.9 acres of the mustard tuber this autumn, with an estimated income above 40,000 yuan," Tan said.
She added that the estimated income is expected to reach 80,000 yuan this year, which she attributes to the further development of the planting and farming industry.
Thanks to her successful experiences in planting, since the winter of 2016 Tan has been encouraging villagers in surrounding villages to give full play to their rural land resources and to plant cabbage heads in winter.
Chen Yaqiong, who is over 50 years old, is from an impoverished household in Nanping Village. Hampered by lumbar pain for many years, Chen cannot engage in as such physically demanding work.
Therefore, in the autumn of last year, Tan specially spread a few more packages of seeds when cultivating the seedlings, and gave the remaining seedlings to Chen.
"Last autumn, I used Tan's seedlings to plant some cabbage heads. I picked nearly 5,000 kilograms of cabbage in total, earning nearly 6,000 yuan," said Chen.
Qin Guangfu introduced that the planting area has increased to 247 acres, which can boost villagers' income to 1.3 million yuan.
(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)