Despite the changes in her status — from a village official (who was a university graduate) to a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) — Wang Mengmeng, secretary of the general Party (Communist Party of China) branch of Jiuzi (a village in Dingyuan, a county in Chuzhou, a city in East China's Anhui Province), during the past decade has stuck to her dream of helping rural residents escape poverty through hard work.
Wang has always inspired herself with her original dream (of helping rural residents live better lives), especially when she has encountered difficulties. She will never forget an event that happened one day, several months before she graduated from the department of law, under Hefei University of Technology (in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province). When she saw a migrant woman worker doze off (under a tree near her school), holding a baby in her arms, Wang thought to herself, "Who would leave his/her home if he/she could find a job at the doorstep?" That inspired her to start a business in her hometown (Dingyuan), so jobs would be created for residents. She hoped, given the sound development of her enterprise, more residents, who had left their homes to work elsewhere, would return home to work for her.
During the summer of 2013, a short time after she graduated from university, Wang volunteered to work, as a village official, in Qinji, another village in Dingyuan.
Shortly after she was appointed first secretary of Xikong, which was then a poverty-stricken village in Dingyuan, Wang established a modern agricultural park in Xikong. She encouraged farmers to cultivate strawberries (in the park), so they could attain wealth by selling the fruit.
"At that time, few villagers believed a young woman like me could help them escape poverty by growing strawberries. However, I have proved, through my actions during the past few years, that I'm as good as my word. In addition to teaching myself about the skills of growing strawberries, I have introduced foreign varieties of the fruit to Xikong's residents. As a result, I have gained the trust of many residents," recalls Wang.
In May 2014, Wang established Wanxu farming and breeding cooperative (in Xikong). She also registered a brand name — Wanxu — to market strawberries grown by Xikong's residents, so it would be easier to expand the business. As Wang has helped villagers increase strawberry production and sales during the past several years, Wanxu has become one of Chuzhou's best-known strawberry trademarks.
Wang in 2019 set up a base (in Xikong), to help villagers find work and/or start a business. The base is composed of a 100-mu (6.67-hectare) strawberry garden, a 50-mu (3.33-hectare) vegetable garden, a 200-mu (13.33-hectare) grape garden and a 300-plus-square-meter seedling plant.
Wang during the past few years has led villagers in raising pigs in an environmentally friendly way. She has grown strawberries and grapes to feed the pigs, and she has used fermented pig manure to fertilize the fruit. As a result, she has helped many villagers increase their families' incomes. Much owing to Wang's efforts to help Xikong's residents live better lives, all of the village's 153 poverty-stricken families have been removed from the poverty list. Xikong has become an industrially promising "star village" in Chuzhou.
Since January 2018, when she was elected a deputy to the 13th NPC, Wang has put much effort into exploring ways to promote rural revitalization. As secretary of the general Party branch of Jiuzi, she has often visited villagers, to see firsthand the villagers' needs, and the various difficulties they face. She has also popularized policies related to the promotion of rural revitalization.
"During the Fifth Session of the 13th NPC (held in March), I made several proposals to promote rural collective economic development. As I was aware that rural talents mattered a great deal to the promotion of rural economic development, I proposed that greater efforts be made to support outstanding entrepreneurs, and other capable personnel, in starting businesses in rural areas (across the country), to promote the areas' revitalization," recalls Wang.
She calls on young people to help promote rural revitalization. "I hope I can set an example for young people in doing my bit to promote rural economic and social development," says Wang.
(Source: Xinhua/Women of China English Monthly April 2022 issue)
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