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Cotton socks line path of success

By Han Junhong and Zhou Huiying | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-07-14 17:02

Two years ago, Li Fengzhi wouldn't have thought she could be a worker in a garment factory or that the products she made might be sold on the international market.

At the beginning of this year, Li, a resident of Yongfeng village in Panshi city, Jilin province, became a beneficiary of a poverty relief programs as she sought a job at a garment factory within a 15-minute drive by electric motorcycle from home. 

Now she works near her home while looking after her husband, who is disabled.

The factory, which opened in January, is part of Northeast Sock Textile Industrial Park.

Located in Liaoyuan, the park is China's main production base for cotton socks, with a daily output of 8 million pairs.

To expand the industrial chain and promote the employment of farmers, factories were built in six villages, including once-impoverished Yongfeng, where residents mainly grew corn on patches of ground averaging less than 0.13 hectares.

Forty families in the village were registered as poverty-stricken by the local government, including Li's family.

To help the people escape poverty, the village adjusted the planting industry structure, developed rural tourism and set up the garment factory.

"We gave priority to poverty-stricken families such as Li's, which have the ability to work. We gave them free training," said Wang Yunlong, manager of the factory. "We pay them a daily wage and encourage them to work as much as they can. Those who work hard can earn more than 4,000 yuan ($570) a month."

Li and her coworkers make pet clothes — products that are popular with Japanese customers because of their high quality.

"I was so clumsy at first that it was difficult for me to make two pieces a day," Li said. "Now I'm getting more skillful. I can finish nine pieces a day and earn more than 2,000 yuan a month."

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