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NPC deputies bring better livelihood to rural residents

By Che Bin, Shi Yiqi, People’s Daily

To push forward all-round rural vitalization has been made a focus of China’s work related to agriculture, rural areas, and rural residents after the country has secured a complete victory in its fight against poverty.

Therefore, all-round rural vitalization was a hotspot topic during this year’s “two sessions,” the annual meetings of China’s top legislature and political advisory body. Many deputies have shared their ideas on how to better promote rural vitalization based on their first-hand work experience, as well as the results of their field surveys.

Zhang Yan, director and researcher of the soil research department of the Tieling Academy of Agricultural Sciences, northeast China’s Liaoning province, is a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC). Over the past years, she has proposed over 20 motions and suggestions on farm produce quality safety, food security, conservative farming of black soil in northeast China and many other issues.

“To ensure the supply of important agricultural products, especially that of crops, is a primary task for rural vitalization,” she said, adding that it’s a pleasure for her to conduct field surveys and increase farmers’ income through agricultural technologies.

Zhang often tells farmers the benefits of conservative farming and organic fertilizers. She said that to cover soil with straws can reduce water loss and soil erosion, and stubbles make better physicochemical properties of soil. Besides, shifting cultivation leads to higher fertility of soils, and to diversify crops in the fields would reduce the occurrence of plant diseases and insect pests.

Nori sheets are produced at a nori industiral park in Lianyuangang Economic and Technological Development Area, east China's Jiangsu province, Feb. 21, 2022. (Photo by Wang Chun/People's Daily Online)
Nori sheets are produced at a nori industiral park in Lianyuangang Economic and Technological Development Area, east China’s Jiangsu province, Feb. 21, 2022. (Photo by Wang Chun/People’s Daily Online)

Zhang has also launched pilot programs with her team in multiple villages, the results of which have encouraged more local farmers to return straws to farmlands and increase the use of microbial or organic fertilizers.

When she learned that there was a 175-mu (11.67 hectares) low-yield field in a village in Tieling, she immediately went on a field trip and formulated a soil improvement plan. The plan doubled the unit output of soybeans in the field, from 100kg per mu to 200kg. Farmers’ income doubled, too.

Huangwo is a coastal village surrounded by mountains in Gaogongdao neighborhood, Lianyun district, Lianyungang, east China’s Jiangsu province. Villages there used to make a living by fishing. However, the declining fishery resources led to a drop in villagers’ income.

Zhang Lixiang, Party head of the village and also an NPC deputy, paired with those in the village who were not able to fish on the sea and built a 100-mu nori cultivation ground with a mortgage loan he applied. Today, around 90 percent of the villagers in Huangwo are engaged in the nori business, which generates annual output of 240 million yuan (nearly $38 million).

A man is feeding sheep at a sheep farm in Beikeng village, Liugongmiao township, Zhangshu, east China's Jiangxi province, Nov. 22, 2021. (Photo by Zhou Liang/People's Daily Online)
A man is feeding sheep at a sheep farm in Beikeng village, Liugongmiao township, Zhangshu, east China’s Jiangxi province, Nov. 22, 2021. (Photo by Zhou Liang/People’s Daily Online)

The booming nori business has brought better livelihood to villagers. Zhang, devoting himself to rural vitalization, has helped the village pave a new path of sustainable and high-quality development.

After soliciting opinions from the villagers, he decided to lead them to develop rural tourism. With an investment of 15 million yuan, the village built a new square and roads, and started renovating sewage disposal facilities and residential buildings. Besides, it also had its power grid upgraded by local power supply department. What’s more, the village, relying on its beautiful natural environment, has built new tourist attractions. According to statistics, the village received nearly 100,000 visits last year.

Marine ecological protection is another issue that Zhang has focused on for years as an NPC deputy. “Great marine ecology is a foundation for us to embrace high-quality development,” he said.

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