Village Party chief leverages greenhouses to boost livelihoods
(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2020-06-16Print Print
The greenhouses of the "Xixiaomei" cooperative recently welcomed the watermelon harvest season in the Xiahe township of Zhanhua district, Binzhou.
The cooperative was established by Wang Juanjuan, a post-90s girl who was assigned as the Party secretary of Diaojia village in December 2017.
The modern greenhouses in Diaojia village [Photo/iqilu.com]
Located downstream of the Yellow River diversion project, Jiaojia village mainly depended on traditional agriculture for income. But as farming yielded low earnings, many of the village's men left to work in cities, leaving behind the elderly, women and children.
As such, Wang was eager to find a way to increase the income of these "left-behind" people. Shouguang, a major vegetable production base in Shandong's Weifang city, provided Wang with the answer.
"In Shouguang, a grandmother in her 60s can manage greenhouses of nearly 4,000 square meters. I think we can learn from Shouguang in promoting the operation of greenhouses in the village," said Wang.
Farmers pictured during the watermelon harvest in Diaojia village [Photo/iqilu.com]
With the support of the local government and technical guidance from agricultural specialists, the cooperative has set up 25 modern greenhouses which plant watermelon and bell peppers.
In order to open up the market, the township government has helped contact supermarkets to facilitate purchase agreements and promoted the watermelon as a local specialty.
"Now, I work in the cooperative and have my own little business to run," said Fang Haiyan, a local villager.
"I feel fulfilled being able to grow high-quality watermelons."
"Left-behind" women hold watermelons in Diaojia village. [Photo/iqilu.com]
This summer, each watermelon greenhouse can generate about 30,000 yuan ($4,233.81), helping boost the incomes of local villagers.
The success of Diaojia village has encouraged surrounding villages to promote modern agriculture as well -- eight villages have built more than 240 greenhouses across more than 40 hectares of farmland.
Today, "left-behind" women have become the main force of rural revitalization in Xiahe township.
"I feel like we women are holding up half the sky to boost household income and pursue a better life through our hard work," said Wang.