Guangxi villagers plant new path to prosperity

(chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2020-07-29

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Villagers of Yao ethnic group in Dachong are marching toward prosperity thanks to making full use of traditional craftsmanship and local resources such as tea planting and processing. [Photo by Wang Kaihao/China Daily]

Dachong, a mountainous village in Pinggui district in Hezhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, is a community once mired poverty. However, creative methods making full use of local resources have paved the way for its march toward prosperity.

The village with 2,000 residents is home for Tuyao community, a branch of Yao ethnic group. Tuyao literally means "indigenous Yao," which indicates its well preservation of traditional lifestyle and culture of the ethnic group, but it also reflects a fact that development of the village was once blocked by poor transportation.

In 2015, about half of residents in the village lived under poverty line - the annual income per capita was less than 3,000 yuan ($427).

Nevertheless, following construction of a new road in 2018, which shortened the travel time from the village to the nearby town from four hours by foot to 30 minutes by motorbike and thus facilitated trade of local produce and improving residents' livelihood.

Tea fermentation, for example, has become a newly rising industry in the village because attic of old houses in the village offer perfect conditions of ventilation and darkness for natural fermentation of black tea.

It has also inspired the newly booming craftsmanship of making bamboo cases as containers of tea. A villager can earn 30 yuan for fermenting a case of tea for a year, and making a basket can earn him 9 yuan. About 500 cases of tea are stored in a family and a skillful worker can make 10 to 20 handmade bamboo cases a day. Consequently, a family can have earn 20,000 yuan for storing tea and thousands more making cases.

The latest statistics show the annual income per capita in the village was 9,500 yuan, and only 156 villagers still lived under poverty line - now defined as a 3,700 yuan annual per capita income.

According to local government, infrastructure will continue to be improved to boost rural tourism in the village and further bolster relevant industry like tea and honey as tourists' souvenirs.

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