Xinfeng’s story: from poverty to prosperity

By Li Xiang / HICN / Updated: 14:07,13-March-2021

What is common to renowned Chinese conglomerates like e-commerce giant Alibaba, realtor and entertainment company Dalian Wanda, and Xinfeng, a little-known village in Danzhou in China’s southernmost province Hainan?

The answer is, they have all received the honorary title “National Advanced Group of Poverty Alleviation” for their contribution to eradicating absolute poverty.

Xinfeng, once severely poverty-stricken, used local resources to lift its over 800 residents out of need in 2019. The transformation won official recognition on February 25 when it received the title.

In 2020, the last year of the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), Xinfeng’s per-capita income had crossed 11,000 yuan ($1,690), more than five times the amount in the past when it was listed as impoverished. The collective economy income increased from less than 10,000 yuan ($1,536) at that time to 832,500 yuan ($127,909).

How did Xinfeng change its poverty into plenty? Our photographer traces the factors.

Promoting industrial development

In 2019, a poverty alleviation workshop was established to create job opportunities. Such workshops are a nationwide phenomenon today, tapping into unused local resources like idle land or buildings and promoting agriculture, processing of agro-products and handicrafts as well as home-based production to address unemployment.

Promoting rural tourism economy with agritainment and homestay

Rural areas with their natural beauty and unique customs and cuisine are being developed into tourist destinations. Homestays and activities like picking fruits and fishing have been developed. Fairs showcasing local cuisine and fruits are becoming popular.

The Huayu Xinfeng Homestay project was started in May 2020 to offer visitors an authentic rural stay with local traditions amid the conveniences of urban life. Despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19, it has notched up a profit of over 590,400 yuan ($90,712) so far, and expects a greater flow of guests this year with the epidemic under control in China.

These poverty alleviation projects were started to ensure each household has at least one source of extra income. Of the 171 households, 124 have benefited from this.

Improving cultural public services

A children’s library has been established with other facilities besides books. In many villages, such rural libraries also hold cultural events and provide space for children to do their homework.

Diaosheng, a genre of unique Hainan folk music, is being boosted. A Diaosheng competition was organized. Sports events are also being promoted, such as a volleyball competition.



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