Job growth injects vitality into China’s rural development

China’s Rural Revitalization Strategy, which was first introduced in 2017 with the aim of grassroots modernization of agriculture and rural areas by 2035, is helping to renovate the countryside.

The roadmap targets a strong agricultural industry, a beautiful countryside and ensuring that rural residents are well off by 2050, with employment playing a fundamental role in achieving this.

In Baoji City, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, Duan Naixia, 55, rides a specially designed tricycle for commuting to work.

Although polio makes it difficult for her to walk, she landed a job at the village factory in 2019, making artificial flowers, among other things. It was Duan’s first professional experience.

Earning about 2,400 yuan (less than $ 400) a month, she is the main breadwinner. Her husband became paralyzed several years ago and cannot move.

“Before, I was idle at home and sometimes argued with my husband over trifles,” Duan told CGTN. “Now that I have an income I feel better. I also have health issues. Working here things are improving and I am much happier than before.”

The factory was established primarily to help low-income communities. Today, more than 70 women from the neighborhood work there, ensuring a stable family income.

In a town a few miles away, a different kind of job has taken shape. Highly skilled farmers use carbon fiber and fiberglass to make canes and oars.

More than half of these products will be exported to the EU and the United States. And there are over 100 factories like this in the city, employing over 15,000 people.

“What worries people the most is their income,” said Zhang Tiezhu, director of the Fufeng Emerging Industrial Park Management Committee.

“It’s more stable to work in the industrial park, and the income here is much higher than in the factories in the village. In addition, by working in cities, people have better access to education and medical resources.

In recent years, Baoji City has implemented a Skilled Worker Program to prepare its rural workforce for better employment.

Workers receive training, usually for three months, at Baoji Vocational and Technical College. The campus offers courses in smart manufacturing, e-commerce, and healthcare, among others. It is committed to helping cultivate more than 35,000 professional new type farmers every year.

The city’s initiative has been recognized as a model for poverty reduction in the world.

“Employment plays a crucial role in consolidating poverty reduction and promoting rural revitalization,” said Wang Yonggang, deputy director of the Baoji Office of Human Resources and Social Security.

“We will continue to improve the long-term mechanism to stabilize the employment of people moving out of poverty, guide rural people to find employment, increase their income, help them set up businesses and give impetus to rural revitalization. “, explained Wang.

Duan continues to work at the village factory, making artificial flowers that will soon be delivered to countries like Malaysia and Italy. She hopes the business can flourish so that her family’s income remains sustainable.

About Keneth T. Graves

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