Chongqing- Wushan is a county in the far northeast of Chongqing Municipality, and popular as a gateway to the Lesser Three Gorges. Deep into the country north of Wushan is Shuanglong Township, one of 18 designated as highly impoverished in the municipality, and a center of focus in the drive to eradicate poverty in 2020.
As winter approaches each year, the famous maple leaves of Wushan cover the riverbanks and mountainsides of Wushan in a magnificent sea of red. Once merely a picturesque backdrop to the county, an enterprising team of artists and businessmen have found a way to make them into an innovative source of income.
Mr. Song Gongbai is a villager from Shuanglong Township, and for a number of years, has suffered from chronic health issues rendering him unable to perform manual labor. In 2018, he founded the company Hongsen Read Leaf Carvings Ltd with a team of locals and assumed the role of technical supervisor. He also began learning the skills necessary to produce maple leaf carvings from an established workshop in Banan District called ‘Zhiye Hall.’
In the nearby village of Bijia, Mr. Li Yuanqing is a stakeholder of a crisp plum orchard. This rural cooperative involves four stakeholders who collectively share the duties of land management, equipment, cultivation, and sales. The ability of local residents to form such cooperatives in Shuanglong Town has allowed them to raise household income without the need for direct financial assistance.
When the time comes to harvest the plums in summer, an intermediary comes to collect the ripe fruit for sale nationwide. They sell the plums at a fixed unit price, and the income is shared equitably between the cooperative members. Now the orchard has been run for over three years, their successful business model can now serve as a fine example for other communicates to emulate.
Having lived in the village all his life, Mr. Li Yuanqing also described the great changes he has witnessed over recent years in infrastructure and living conditions, as Shuanglong Township rises out of poverty and embraces a bright future.
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