Located in Northeast Chongqing and cut off by mountains and ridges, Fengdu county has long been held by many as an epitome of Chongqing’s past, a remote, impoverished mountainous hinterland.
It was designated as a national-level impoverished county in 2002 and then a national pilot county for poverty alleviation and development in the Wuling Mountain areas in 2011. A targeted census in 2014 recorded a total of 19,396 poor households, 71,917 poor people, and 95 poor villages, with a poverty occurrence rate of 12.1%.
However, fundamental changes have taken place in Fengdu over the past few years. The local government has explored a new path to economic growth based on its advantages and constraints. It has dramatically increased the residents’ income and living standards, with the poverty occurrence rate plumbing to a mere 0.02% in 2019.
“We’ve gradually established a poverty relief industry featuring poultry farms of cattle, chicken, and pigs,” said Xu Shiguo, secretary of the CPC Fengdu County Committee, at Thursday’s press conference. He further elaborated by saying that three factors contributed to Fengdu’s rise out of poverty: the business environment that enables large enterprises to thrive, the financial support mechanism that allows medium- and small- enterprises to grow, and the brand promotion campaign that helps all enterprises to boom.
Firstly, “Fengdu introduced and nurtured seven national-level leading enterprises in agricultural industrialization” to promote the integrated development of all supply chain players. Among such big names is Hondo Agricultural Group, whose beef products make up for over 50% of market share in e-commerce platforms like Tmall and JD.com.
With the driving force of leading enterprises at the core, a total of 59 county-level agricultural enterprises, 1,900 farmers’ cooperatives, and more than 1,000 family-based poultry farms have been nurtured and cultivated in the process, according to Xu.
Secondly, “Fengdu built a financial services ecosystem for inclusive finance access and preferential microloans” to keep pumping dynamism and energy to the industry. Poor households are encouraged to take out microloans and start family businesses, which has become a new name card for Fengdu’s poverty alleviation practice. Xu added that approximately 578-million-yuan worth of microloans had been granted to 12,688 households, as of July this year, with the highest loan approval rate of 64% in the municipality.
Third, “Fengdu implemented rigorous brand promotion campaigns and promulgated the ‘Reward and Subsidize Measures of Fengdu County on Building Agricultural Brands’” to boost the overall popularity of locally-made products. A total of 139 qualification certificates for green, organic, pollution-free, and origin-traceable products have been issued. Such brands as “Fengdu Beef” and “Hondo” have been certified Well-known Trademarks, keeping its record in having the most brands in the municipality that meet national-level quality standards for exported food and agricultural products.
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