Huang Xiaoli [CCTV]
A village official from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality started her mushroom farming business two years ago to alleviate poverty in the region.
"My entrepreneurship is by no means merely for gaining profits. More importantly, I want to strengthen villagers' confidence in achieving affluence," said Huang Xiaoli, 28, an official of Wutong Village in the municipality's Yuxi Town.
After university graduation, Huang began to work at the public security bureau in the province's Tongnan District as a clerk, and she first became a village official in July 2013.
Two years later, when the local government enhanced its poverty-relief efforts, Huang volunteered to be transferred to Wutong where 134 households and 437 residents were registered as poverty-stricken.
Through door-to-door investigation, she found villagers had a strong desire to shake off poverty, but they generally lacked ways to do so and dared not to start businesses due to fear of failure.
Huang's husband Sun Jingfang majored in agriculture in college and works at the town's agriculture development and poverty-relief center.
"It was all thanks to my husband's support that I chose to grow mushrooms back then and that I could plant them successfully," Huang recalled.
To grow mushrooms, the couple postponed their wedding ceremony to late 2016 and borrowed 100,000 yuan (U.S.$ 15,209) as a startup fund.
In September 2015, Chen built six greenhouses, becoming the first mushroom grower in the village.
To master the growing techniques as quickly as possible, she invited experts to give guidance on-site, actively took part in various technical trainings and read related books.
In November 2015, Chen had her first harvest – 200 grams of mushrooms.
"I felt especially happy at that time. It was not simply a matter of economic investment as to whether or not our mushroom growing would be successful. Most importantly, villagers were all looking at us. It affected their confidence in starting their own businesses," Huang said.
Now, her farm harvests nearly 200 kilograms of mushrooms every day.
Moreover, Huang rented land from impoverished households whilst offering people jobs.
Her success also boosted villagers' confidence to shake off poverty.
Yang Guangqun, from one of the poverty-stricken families in the village and who works on Huang's farm, said: "I also want to grow mushrooms once I learn about the growing techniques."
"I hope more and more villagers can find a suitable industry. In addition to mushroom, we will also introduce high-end varieties and organic agriculture, and realize sustainable development," Huang concluded.
(Source: CCTV/Translated and edited by Women of China)