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Sowing the seeds of cooperation

By Liu Hao and Chen Mengwei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-12-15 14:15


Just as the Chinese government is prioritizing poverty alleviation throughout the nation, a man at an unnoticed corner is taking the task personally.

Hu Jihua, 38, stopped growing at 1.4 meters due to a rare backbone disease he was born with. He vowed when he was elected the village head six years ago to lift every one of his 4,000 villagers out of poverty, with a secretive wish to prove that "what a healthy man can do, I can do better."

By working hard in the remote village in Guizhou province, Hu made it, at least by far.

Hu's idea was simple and one of typical Chinese wisdom - to gather all available resources and focus on one thing at a time. He built a cooperative - a rural, for-profit organization essentially similar to a company - in the name of the village and invited every villager to invest in it with their land or money. The company sells products, mostly agricultural goods, and makes money, while the villagers get a cut. The not so for-profit part is, be the year good or bad, a villager will surely get a secured minimum pay.


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