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Across China: CPC member helps with rural revitalization in S China

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-03-20 10:47

HAIKOU - Over a vast field of chili plants, Wang Aiguo talks with villager Chen Laixing.

"How are the plants? Everything good?" Wang said.

"Not bad!" Chen replied.

Wang, 59, is an official assigned by the government to help with rural revitalization in Fuwen Township, South China's Hainan province. He has worked in the township for more than two years, steering local villagers toward prosperity through a variety of measures.

China is continuing efforts for rural development, with the Report on the Work of the Government released this month emphasizing boosting agricultural production and promoting all-around rural revitalization in 2022.

"I want to do something to help make the villages become more beautiful and lead people toward prosperity," Wang said. "I want to prove my worth in the rural fields."


Wang is a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC). He previously worked in the provincial department of human resources and social security and was mainly in charge of the paperwork.

In 2019, he was appointed by the government to work in Nanbu Village of Fuwen Township to help locals cast off poverty.

"At first, villagers did not trust me because they did not know me well," he recalled. "They thought I was always doing paperwork, how could I know anything about the fields?"

Villagers' initial indifference made it difficult for Wang.

"I felt unwelcome," he said. "I felt like even the chickens and cows in the village did not like me."

To win people's trust, he began going door to door to talk to villagers, making friends with them and telling them about how to transform the fortunes there.

"We did many things," he said. "For example, there were no road lamps in the village before, so we built many."

Many young villagers in Nanbu had left for better-paying jobs in big cities, leaving behind women and seniors, who made ends meet by raising domestic animals such as ducks and pigs.

Seeing the duck eggs and pigs there, Wang and his poverty-relief team came up with an idea: to develop the glutinous rice dumpling industry there.

"Hainan glutinous rice dumplings have distinctive flavors, so we thought it would be a good idea to develop the industry there," he said. "The duck eggs and the pork can make perfect dumpling ingredients."

After discussions with villagers, a rice dumpling-making company was introduced, and a rural cooperative was established. Locals could receive dividends by joining the cooperative and making extra money by wrapping rice dumplings for the company. The villagers' duck eggs and pork were purchased as ingredients by the company.

The dumpling industry generated many jobs, and in the peak season of the Dragon Boat Festival, an individual villager could make more than 10,000 yuan (about $1,572).

In the off-season, Wang would lead his team members to help the villagers sell their agricultural products in downtown Haikou, the provincial capital.

By the end of 2019, the entire village shook off poverty.


After fulfilling his two-year tenure at Nanbu Village, Wang was about to go back to his original post. But he was not satisfied with his work in rural Hainan.

"After spending two years in the countryside, I became quite familiar with the rural areas, and I felt like I could do more," Wang said.

So Wang applied for a second term. This time around, he was assigned to the village of Jiusuo, also under Fuwen Township.

After careful research, Wang and his colleagues found the condition in Jiusuo great for growing Radix Fici Simplicissimae, a traditional Chinese herb and a popular ingredient for making soup in south China.

"Radix Fici Simplicissimae can fetch very high prices in the market and demand is quite high, and the tender leaves can be made into tea," Wang said. "Each kilogram of Radix Fici Simplicissimae is sold at 80 yuan. It has very high economic value."

The team then succeeded in persuading villagers to grow the plant, in addition to their typical plants such as chili, peanuts, sweet potatoes and betel nuts.

Currently, the villagers have grown more than 40,000 seedlings of Radix Fici Simplicissimae, and they expect a good harvest in the next two to three years.

Wang also helped build a "rural canteen," where the left-behind women, elderly and children can enjoy vegetables grown by themselves.

"The seniors love growing vegetables in their backyard, and they pick the vegetables and hand them over to our cook to prepare their meals," Wang said. "In this way, they have something to do, and their children working in big cities will feel relieved."

Wang also plans to develop rural tourism in the village.

"Jiusuo has ancient houses, trees and more than 600 years of history, which have laid a solid foundation for rural tourism," he said. "I see a bright future here."

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