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Local heroine leads impoverished village to prosperity

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-10-12

Yu Liufen, three-time elected representative of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, has received a lot of attention for her hard work in successfully alleviating poverty and encouraging the development of Yanbo village in Guizhou province.

Yu, a 48-year-old mother of two, first took up the position as secretary of the Communist Party branch in Yanbo on New Year's Day in 2001.

At that time, Yanbo was mired in extreme poverty, without electricity, water systems or even roads to connect the village with the outside world. According to Yu, one third of the villagers were living below the national poverty line in 2001, with annual per incomes of no more than 800 yuan ($123.5).

Yu's first goal after taking office was to build roads. "At that time we doubted the possibility of building roads because of the scarcity of money and materials," said Xiao Bengao, a Yanbo villager.

The determined Yu took out a 40,000 yuan in advance to purchase materials for the road construction and persuaded the residents of Yanbo to devote themselves to the project.

After three months, a 3,000-meter road was completed, with the construction of 11 additional roads soon to follow. The success of the project earned Yu the admiration and trust of Yanbo's residents.

Yu undertook forest reclamation as her second endeavor. Utilizing 238,000 yuan mortgaged from a local bank, Yu supervised the reclamation of 1,480 mu (98.67 hectares) of forest, accumulating additional village assets for the further development of fruit tree plantations and forest leisure resorts.

In 2003, a brick factory was built in Yanbo. Through the use of mineral waste as a raw material for brick production, the factory served to reduce pollution and provide job opportunities for local villagers.

After investigating and studying the success of surrounding areas, Yu encouraged villagers to develop poultry and livestock production in Yanbo. In 2010, more than 10,000 chickens raised by Yuan Huiying, a poultry breeder in Yanbo, died of cholera.

"Yu told me that experience was important and that failure bred success. She comforted me and gave me assistance," Yuan said. Yuan continued to breed poultry, earning a profit of over 400,000 yuan two years later.

A distillery using traditional brewing methods of the local Yi ethnic group was also built in Yanbo with the help of Yu. In 2016 the distillery successfully transitioned into a limited liability company, with local residents becoming shareholders.

"So far, Guizhou Yanbo Liquor Industry Co Ltd has generated a revenue of more than 40 million yuan," said Yu on Sept 10.

Diverse development has brought prosperity to Yanbo. Last year, the collective assets of Yanbo reached 62 million yuan. Annual per capita incomes of village residents have now increased to 15,457 yuan.

"Helping villagers rise from poverty is the best gift for the 19th National Congress," says Yu.

Local heroine leads impoverished village to prosperity

Yu Liufen and villagers celebrate the autumn harvest in Yanbo village, Guizhou province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Local heroine leads impoverished village to prosperity

Yu Liufen visits the packing workshop at Guizhou Yanbo Liquor Industry Co Ltd in Guizhou province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

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