China Focus: Tea seedling donation seeds new prospect for poverty alleviation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-06 15:30:09|Editor: Li Xia
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BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Valuable tea plants are flourishing on around 67 hectares of tea farms in Qingchuan County of southwest China's Sichuan Province, bringing new hope to impoverished locals.

"Tea plants are growing so well that I believe our lives will be better and better in the future," said Jiao Yuan'en, a 66-year-old local villager, in the upbeat mood.

Jiao's tea plants are grown from seedlings donated by tea farmers, thousands of miles away in Anji of eastern Zhejiang Province, as a gift to help alleviate poverty.

In April 2018, 20 tea farmers from Huangdu village of Anji, a well-known tea planting area, wrote a letter to Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, proposing to donate 15 million tea seedlings to poor areas.

Responding to their letter, Xi praised their move and called on Party members to share the Party's burdens and encourage those who get rich first to help latecomers in the battle against poverty.

With Xi paying close attention to this project, the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development chose 34 impoverished villages in provinces of Guizhou, Hunan and Sichuan to receive the seedlings.

By the end of March this year, a total of 16.65 million seedlings from Huangdu village were planted in around 358 hectares of land, involving 1,862 needy households, and more than 95 percent of the seedlings have survived.

In Guizhou, the donated tea seedlings helped inspire other locals to engage in tea planting, and in Hunan, tea farms were incorporated into local tourism.

The kind-hearted action from Anji farmers is expected to help 5,839 villagers improve their livelihood and lift them out of poverty when the tea plants are ripe for harvest in the spring of 2020.

China aims to lift all rural residents living below the current poverty line out of poverty by the year 2020.