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Delegates urge more Africa-China poverty reduction cooperation

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发表于 2019-5-9 06:25:22 | 只看该作者 回帖奖励 |倒序浏览 |阅读模式
With 40 years of effort, China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty. The rural poor population decreased from about 99 million in 2012 to 30 million in 2017.
Government officials, scholars, and representatives from international organizations gathered in Guizhou Province on Wednesday and Thursday to share experiences regarding poverty reduction and sustainable development. The meetings took place in Bijie County, once listed by UNESCO as being a place 'unsuitable for people to live.'
The field trip is part of the China-Africa Cooperation - Poverty Reduction and Development Conference. To discuss more on this, our reporter Xu Yawen joined us from Bijie, Guizhou province.

The field trip group visited Haizi Village in Qianxi County, Guizhou province. Haizi Village has been rated as one of the "Top Ten Most Beautiful Villages." Its per-capita net income for farmers has rapidly increased. [Photo: China Plus]

Q1: In the past two days, you have visited a number of villages in Guizhou province where residents used to suffer from extreme poverty. How are their lives now in comparison to the past? And how did they get out of poverty?
Yawen: Yes, there are numerous measures and strategies on poverty reduction that I have noticed being practiced by different villages. Today I am going to share one common model.
That's when the government and enterprises cooperate and build a system that hails "industrial development, plus relocating residents out of poor areas, plus creating job opportunities and skills training centers for poverty-stricken people."
When we visited the Evergrande Xingfu Er'cun resettlement village, a father surnamed Zhou told me that with help from government and enterprise, his family's annual household income and their living condition has improved dramatically.
For instance, in the past, this couple only made a few thousand yuan every year; today their annual household income is more than thirty thousand yuan. They used to live in the mountains, where sometime there were problems to get clean water and stable electricity. Also, there was a lack of access to public transportation due to the geographic factors of Bijie City. Its karst topography led to poor soil and uneven land, as 92% of the region is in the mountains. However, today the family has been relocated by the government and lives in a brand new two-floor single-family house nearby their old house, with full furniture, and it's pretty much for free.
Most importantly, there used to be lack of job opportunities, so Mr. Zhou and his wife had to leave for big cities to find work. But today they work at the nearby vegetable greenhouses and cattle breeding farms that were developed by enterprise and the government.
Now it's not hard to understand how the poverty rate has dropped from 56% to around 9% over the past three decades in Bijie City.
Q2: What are the standards used to evaluate poverty reduction? For instance, in what kind of situation would they say, 'Ok, now this family can be taken off of the poverty list?'
Yawen: There is an evaluation system and a number of requirements that you have to go through before being moved off of the poverty list.
For example, some very basic conditions require that people have easy accesses to safe drinking water, electricity, and livable housing conditions, as well as skills for employment, access to education, full coverage of rural social insurance for seniors, and each family will have one to two income sources.
In the villages, there should be scheduled buses, access to phone networks and cable, village clinics and medical care or medical assistance, activity rooms, and at least 30 thousand yuan income from the collective economy.

African representatives took a group photo with a Chinese grandma in front of her new resettlement house at Evergrande Xingfu Er'cun in Fengshan Township, Guizhou province on Thursday, August 16. [Photo: China Plus]

Q3: Can these models of poverty reduction in China be copied by other developing countries, such as in Africa?
Yawen: I think so. During the trip, I spoke with the Former Minister of Agriculture from the Republic of Uganda, Ms. Victoria Sekitoleko. She told me that she really liked the idea of the vegetable greenhouse, and as a farmer's daughter and also an expert in agriculture for many years, she believes that the business model can be implemented in Uganda.
And according to the operational manager of the vegetable greenhouse, the education level of workers there is about junior high. So it doesn't require a higher education background. It'll be easy to learn.
Q4: What do visitors on this field trip think of the opportunities for Africa-China cooperation in poverty reduction and development under the framework of "Belt and Road"?
Yawen: One story was shared by Clifford Tandari, the Morogoro Regional Administrative Secretary in Tanzania. He mentioned that under the framework of the "Belt and Road," China Agricultural University has established a demonstration center and research institution in Tanzania to help local people to improve the agricultural technology. As a result, now local farmers can produce twice as much agricultural product as before. The poverty rate has been decreased, and many farmers now can even afford to send their children to private schools. More importantly, those skills can be copied and implemented at another ten villages to solve more poverty related issues.
Feng Yong, the Deputy Director General of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in China, said that poverty reduction is more than delivering technologies. It's also about helping local farmers to develop industries. Only by combining technologies and industries, that's how the cooperation can be sustainable.

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