Chongqing- Mr. Liu Jingchun was born in the village of Anjing, Wushan County, the third eldest of four siblings. At that time, villagers subsisted on the old trio of crops, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn, which they planted on small plots of meager soil. Since the family lived in poverty, Liu Jingchun studied only a year of junior school before he left to work on the land at home.
Back in 2010, the first son of Liu Jingchun was born. However, the joy was tempered by the fact his child suffered from congenital cleft lip, for which they had to muster together the medical fees needed for correctional surgery. A year later, Liu Jingchun himself began to suffer from lumbar spinal tuberculosis. In a short time, the medical debt burden of 200,000 yuan forced an already struggling family into severe financial straits, compounded by the fact he was subsequently confined to his bed for half a year.
Hope for Liu Jingchun came in 2013 when he was listed as a case for poverty alleviation under the national policy, which included assistance for major illnesses resulting in large medical expenses.
Although he felt deep gratitude for the national policy that resolved the issue of medical debts, Liu Jingchun was still eager to forge a better life on the back of his own efforts. In 2017, he applied for a low-interest loan under the encouragement of Shuanglong Township government policy, and the prerequisite that he recovered his health and mobility.
The loan allowed him to purchase an unmanaged an 18-acre vineyard in the neighboring village of Bijia. From that moment on, Liu Jingchun and his wife put all their effort into tending the grapevines. He explained how grapes are 30% about planting, and 70% about management. For example, tying the grape branches is important for managing both growth and quality over the coming year.
No matter the quality and quantity of grapes come the time of harvest, there have to be effective sales channels for the vineyard to fulfill its potential as a source of income. In 2019, he produced 10,000 kilograms of grapes, which he sold through WeChat Moments and citizens who came to pick for themselves. This way, he sold about 5000 kilograms, but couldn’t sell the other half.
Liu Jingchun expressed his feelings, ‘I was really anxious and upset to see half the grapes potentially going to waste, but fortunately, the local party secretary caught ear of the situation, and mobilized people in Chongqing to buy a few thousand kilograms, and also raised my profile there.
Nowadays, Liu Jingchun has enjoyed a full recovery from illness, his two children attend primary school, and the days of poverty are long behind him thanks to his increased level of income. He even withdrew his application for income support and harbors great confidence towards the future. This year, his vineyard is projected to harvest 15,000 kilograms of grapes worth 200,000 yuan.
‘My plan is to continue tending to the vineyard and assuring the quality of grapes. At the same time, I want to get more publicity so that more people come to visit, travel, and pick fruit.’
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