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Learning from China’s Shaanxi province on poverty alleviation

China is on a serious mission to end poverty by next year. The Far East and well populated nation has apparently development numerous programs ranging from housing, health and education to employment for youth and graduates from various colleges.

All these are considered as initiatives on the journey towards making China a poverty-free country.

If it was to curb some of the critical challenges then Tanzania can play along the same line with the World’s second economic giant that is now championing global connectivity program through Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

For China, poverty alleviation has been very crucial on its economic growth and with number of initiatives that have been taken to get rid of it; Tanzania can also draw important lessons from world’s most populated country.

The number that China under President Xi Jinping is planning to rescue from poverty is more than 70 million people, just up from Tanzania’s total population by almost 15.8 million people.

According to the statistics on population estimates that were issued by minister of Finance and Planning Dr Philip Mpango in February last year shows that by that time, Tanzania had a total of 54.2 million people.

President Xi’s vision is being implemented in a bigger way in various cities of Shaanxi province.

As part of empowering farmers by ensuring effective market of agricultural products from their farms, the authority in Xi’an city, Shaanxi’s capital introduced a strategic market namely Xi’an Poverty Reduction Supermarket that collect agricultural products produced by poor farmers in poverty – stricken counties and villages.

Poverty-stricken areas have along faced various challenges in agricultural products sales including daunting transportation problems, dead stocks and low returns.

Officials from the province are confident enough that with the initiatives put in place, soon the dream of alleviating poverty in their areas would be attained.

The Provinces vice minister of International department at the Central Committee China People Congress (CPC) Mr Guo Yezhou said during the forum that a ‘green channel’ of poverty reduction through consumption has established the big sale a move that has helped the poor to meet basic needs and save some for their future.

Mr Guo was speaking during the Belt and Road Forum for International Reduction held in Xi’an recently.

“This is also among the ambitious goals which our city and the rest of parts of china are making efforts to meet and will be dealt with a case-by-case- basis,” the city’s executive deputy mayor of Hanzhong city in Shaanxi province Mr Chen Xiaoyong said.

The Deputy Mayor was addressing the delegation of 33 journalists from Africa who are participating in a media program hosted by the China-Africa Press Centre (CAPC).

According to him, in Hanzhong city more than 1,100 poverty reduction cooperative union covering 800 villages had been established so far and that much attention is also paid on industrial development as part of continued efforts on striving to boost revenue.

He says this has been done through harmonization process whereby companies or factories are partnering with families that own potential land to create business share and bigger profit that is shared among the parties.

“Instead of buying the land, we thought it would be much better if the families would be allowed to be part of the increment so that they could continue receiving their shares accordingly,” he said adding that the approach that can be adopted by other counties.

Other poverty alleviation schemes are health andeducation scheme with the mayor saying they learnt that people became poor because of poor education and other battling diseases like cancer.

“So while fighting poverty it’s much important to tag along the fight for ignorance and diseases. This would in turn assure consistence increase of manpower to feed both white and blue colour jobs,” he said.

“The compensation rate here for hospital care is 90 per cent and also compulsory education is free from any charge, the city also helps people to rebuild homes,” he expounded further.

Officials here says that due to the belt and road initiative and new turns of deeper opening up, Hanzhong has more cooperation in the fields of tourism and talents exchange with Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Britain, Japan and Hong Kong, Taiwan region.

In 2018, Hanzhong received 5,100 visitors with revenue of 30.8 billion Yuan. Tourism industry is one of the key industries in the city, which makes great contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“In the same 2018, the GDP of my city was 147.188 billion Yuan," Xi’an deputy director of state council Leading Group office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, Mr Chen Zhigang.

Situated in the southwest of Shaanxi Province with the Qinling Mountains in the north and the Bashan Mountains in the south, the city governs 9 counties and two districts and one economic and high-tech development zone.

It covers an area of 27,000 square kilometers with a population of 3.86 million. The city has won the reputation of “the cradle of Hanzhong Culture, the treasure warehouse of China”.

It is a national famous historical and cultural city, a hygienic city and forestry and gardening city, as well as a national best tourism city.

Success story from a teafarm Among counties being governed by the Hanzhong city in Shaanxi province is Ningqiang that has successfully managed to stand on its own feet from available opportunities.

The county has a big tea farm that is considered as a vivid example of how a cooperative project should be, has also created number of jobs through tea production and tourism as many people from within and outside China are visiting the site for a site view.

In the making of the agriculture park, more than 700 families had to transfer their land for the shared interest and brighter future.

Harvests at the project area is recorded on average of more than 300 tones of tea that s sold online in China.

As a result of harmonization strategy, the farm whose some of shares are owned by local families who surrendered their land for tea farm, at least 191 families received dividends every year.

“…and for the families that works for the tea park pockets a total of Chinese RMB 7,560 (about 2.5/- million) every month,” noted Mr Chen. From 2013 to 2017, the growth of main economic index was above the average level of China and Shaanxi Province therefore Hanzhong was firmly among the fast developed cities of Shaanxi.

The growth rate of total output value in 2018 was 9.5 per cent, which takes the second place in Shaanxi.

In recent three years, 340,400 people have been lifted out of poverty and there are still 150,400 thousand people in poverty in Hanzhong.

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Author: By DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI in Shaanxi, China

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