File aerial photo taken on Dec. 27, 2018 shows the renovated roads in Luanzheng Village at Long'an County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua)
A remote karst village in south China "piggybacked" on the collective economy to head for a brighter future.
NANNING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Wei Yuefang, who lives in south China's karst mountains, no longer needs to share her house with cattle and pigs. This is after she relocated the livestock to a barn built by the village, and jointly used by poverty-stricken farmers like herself.
Wei had raised draught animals under the same roof with the family for decades, and bidding farewell to the old lifestyle has allowed the 62-year-old, from Luanzheng Village, Long'an County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, to dare think big.
Luanzheng Village faces one of the most severe land degradation problems in karst areas. Rocky desertification has depleted arable lands and made the roads inaccessible.
The younger generations moved to cities for a better life, while those who stayed struggled to make ends meet. Households relied on cattle to cultivate the land for farming, and transportation depended on human labor and horses.
The lives of villagers, however, began to turn around in 2016 as the collective economy started reshaping the karst village.
Tian Yi, a 39-year-old poverty alleviation official, can be credited for translating the ideas into reality.
Tian came to the village in 2016 and soon noticed that villagers are experienced in raising livestock. He therefore encouraged them to adopt livestock farming.
He helped forge an agreement among local government and villagers.
File photo taken on March 18, 2019 shows a beef cattle husbandry center in Luanzheng Village at Long'an County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua)
With the financial support of the government, a beef cattle husbandry center was established. Villagers were given an opportunity to become shareholders, and enterprises were introduced to run the business.
Meanwhile, the local government renovated the infrastructure of roads, electricity, and water to facilitate cooperation.
Over the years, the village of 380 households has participated in the business of four husbandry centers that raise hundreds of beef cattle.
The village has also invested in the hog farming industry, having generated a total income of 100,000 yuan (14,280 U.S. dollars) as of October 2019.
The second pig breeding center that was put into use in April this year is expected to reach an annual output worth 38 million yuan.
Destitute villagers are also encouraged to work for the breeding centers as the job can ensure a steady income, said Long Fukang, with a beef farming company in the village.
"In 2019, local businesses, including beef and pig farming, generated an income of nearly 250,000 yuan for the village and it is expected to reach 280,000 yuan this year," Tian said. ■