|Yan Ming (R) visits a villager. [China Women's News]|
Yan Ming, director of Legal Department of Yanqing Women's Federation, has made positive efforts to lead impoverished local households improve their lives though the flower-cultivation industry after she was appointed Party secretary of a village last November.
Wangshungou, known as a low-income village located in Sihai Township in Beijing's Yanqing District, is home to 145 households and has a total population of 266. Currently, out of 95 households with permanent residents, 50 fall into the category of low-income in accordance with relevant standards.
As more and more young people have left their rural homes to find jobs in the downtown area, the majority of those who stayed in the village are the sick or the elderly.
After a joint investigation, Yan decided to develop the flower-cultivation industry, growing roses and chrysanthemums, as well as lilies.
Yan said that comparing to growing corn, as was previously common, the revenue of growing flowers can be from five to 10 times as much, as long as villagers strengthen flower management techniques.
"It is expected that villagers can get an increase of 3,000 yuan (U.S.$ 453.7) per mu after three years, and their incomes will be raised by 10 percent annually with the increased rate of production," said Yan. She added that, "Yanqing Women's Federation has also incorporated the flower industry into the project of women's development in the suburbs of Beijing, and provides 300,000 yuan (U.S.$ 45,348) as financial support."
Yan said that the federation has established Party member service team to voluntarily help local residents get in the crops at harvest time.
Tian Cuirong belongs to one of the low-income households in the village. Her son is physically impaired and her 80-year-old husband is also in a poor state of health. Therefore, the family income all depends on basic living allowances and pensions from the government, farmland income and Tian's odd jobs.
"I'm grateful for the government sending us such a good cadre. Yan is just like my own daughter, visiting us in the holidays and often greeting us on the phone," said Tian.
Tian's farmland was rented out to plant chrysanthemums and at the harvest time, she always helped to pick the flowers with an income of 70 yuan (U.S.$ 10.5) per day. This year, she totally earned over 1,000 yuan (U.S.$ 151) for picking chrysanthemums.
Villager Nie Shulan is also from a low-income household in the village.
"When firstly walking into Nie's home, I couldn't believe my eyes, the house was about to collapse," said Yan.
Due to heavy medical expenses for her 11-year-old child and herself, the family descended into poverty, living off her husband working outside. Their old house was also in disrepair due to lack of funds.
Under the help of Yan, the family raised funds of 60,000 yuan (U.S.$ 9,070), which was used to build them a new house. Now, they have moved in and are never afraid to freeze in the winter.
"The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) highlighted that it is important to mobilize the whole Party and the country to carry out the targeted poverty alleviation. Villagers could see what we did is to try to help them shake off poverty, although the existing flower industry may not be able to bring villagers big revenue immediately. As long as we try our best, nothing is impossible", said Yan.
On the way back to the downtown, Yan pointed to the tourist billboards and said that Yanqing District has developed its eco-economy in recent years. The 2019 World Garden Expo and 2022 Winter Olympic Games will provide a good opportunity for locals and the next step, she will call on villagers to work on tourism.
Yan said that villagers will live a prosperous new life under the leadership of the CPC.
(Source: China Women's News / Translated and edited by Women of China)