Gaomi village takes on new look

(| Updated : 2019-12-13

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The once hopelessly backward Songxingtun village in Gaomi, Shandong province has become a model in implementing the nation's rural revitalization strategy.

The changes in Songxingtun can be traced back to the villagers' committee election in 2011, when Xu Lin, an able man who had been engaged in trade for many years, was elected the village Party branch secretary.

"Each household has two mu (1333.33 square meters) of land on average and it was just enough to make a living growing grain," said Lin.

"We need to develop efficient modern agriculture to boost incomes."

The village transferred the farm land to build industrial parks.

"Some villagers were reluctant to join in the transformation. Myself and members of the village committee did a lot of work to persuade them," Xu recalled. 

"Each mu of land can bring in rent of 1,200 yuan ($172.05) as well as dividends on land shares each year. They can also work in the industrial parks to earn a steady paycheck."

An agricultural cooperative was also established. About 80 percent of its profits are shared among villagers while the remaining is the collective property for future development.

The village has developed 900 mu of grape greenhouses and 700 mu of vegetable greenhouses in a single year.

"This year's grape harvest is almost over. It is estimated that the net yield per mu will be around 6,000 yuan," said a villager who worked in the grape greenhouse.

Modern efficient agriculture has helped to deliver more expensive but quickly perishable products to markets in the big cities and improved quality of life for many poor households.

Currently, the average household income in the village is more than 100,000 yuan every year and that of the farmers' collective in the village is 500,000 yuan. More than 100 locals who migrated elsewhere for work returned to the village to start their own businesses.

New roads and bridges have been constructed and shabby rural dwellings have undergone reconstruction, greatly improving the infrastructure in the village and facilitating the development of local agricultural tourism.

In recent years, the village has been developing agricultural tourism based on its booming fruit and vegetable planting business. Ecological parks, farmhouses and scenic spots have been constructed, and a series of tourism activities have been held to attract more visitors.

The village has also built a comprehensive cultural service center where villagers can read books, take training courses and enjoy cultural performances.

"Life is becoming better and better for us," said a villager.  


Broad street and rows of houses in Songxingtun village in Gaomi, Shandong province [Photo/]


A villager works in the grape greenhouse in Songxingtun village in Gaomi, Shandong province. [Photo/]