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Government raises residents' income via loans, training

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-06 07:26

HARBIN-Qi Jinming, a farmer in Suiling county in Heilongjiang province, was happy to see his family reunited this year, as his wife no longer needs to work far from home to earn money to pay off debts.

Qi, 57, signed a contract for 18.7 hectares of paddy fields in 2010, but they were hit by a severe drought and he lost more than 200,000 yuan ($29,000).

Qi fell sick worrying about the debt.

"Creditors flocked to our home, especially during Spring Festival, which drove us crazy," recalled You Jinhua, Qi's wife.

In 2012, You left home to work in Jinan, Shandong province, while Qi stayed behind and earned a living doing odd jobs.

Qi's luck changed at the end of 2015 when the county carried out a census of its poor people.

His family was identified as being in poverty as a result of a natural disaster or illness, and the county offered him an 80,000 yuan loan to help him grow black fungus.

"We sent advisers to teach people about the latest cultivation technologies," said Dong Min, Party chief of Qi's village.

Qi obtained the loan and started to plant the fungus. He told his wife to return home in May to help with the farm work.

"I saw hope of a new life, so I decided to come home," You said.

After a year's hard work, Qi had a bumper harvest last year, making a net profit of 40,000 yuan.

"It was a real pleasure to see my wife return home, and I paid back part of my debt," Qi said.

Qi also built a new house with an extra government subsidy of 40,000 yuan last year.

"If I planted more fungus last year, I would have earned enough money to build the house by myself," Qi said.

Pointing at a homestead near his new house, Qi said he bought it to expand the area used for growing fungus.

By last year, more than 18,900 people from Suiling's 6,883 households had been lifted out of poverty, but about 2,800 others remain below the poverty line.

The local government plans to eradicate poverty in the county this year by providing more fiscal support, upgrading agricultural infrastructure and improving medical treatment services.

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