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Eliminating poverty in China through potatoes

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2016-03-02

Guizhou and Gansu province are expanding the amount of land they have planted in potatoes in accordance with a Ministry of Agriculture plan which calls for around 6.7 million hectares of them by 2020.

One out of 100 towns or villages in under-developed Guizhou province is Lutang, which is near the Wumeng Mountains and the city of Bijie, and now has much of its land for potato growing.

The head of the village, Zhang Wei, says they have 1.15 million kilograms of top quality potatoes that they plan to distribute to farmers for free to use on 200 hectares of land.

The village's deputy Party secretary, He Wei, when asked about the specific benefits of potatoes, said simply that it is "a staple food" in China, which has made the planting a priority for the area's development especially because it is suited to potato growing.

Local authorities say that as many as 60 percent of the households in the area living with poverty see the potato planting as a good method to help them generate income and two special cooperatives have been set up to keep prices stable and to ensure income.

The planting area is expected to reach just over 660 hectares by 2018.

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