Liming Village in China’s Guizhou Province shakes off poverty with tourism and bamboo-based products

Published on : Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Xiong Zhaolin has more than eight acres of bamboo forest in the mountainous Liming Village, southwest China’s Guizhou Province.
The 50-year old never had thought that this plant could help him out of poverty and change his life!

Xiong said that until roads were built in the area in 2012, the villagers didn’t realize the value of bamboo and wasted them largely. But now with the roads and guidance from the local government, villagers are transporting bamboo-based products to big cities speedily.

The village now has roads and paths reaching each villager’s household and the length of these roads stretches to more than 90 kilometers.

“We grow big amounts of bamboo shoots. The villagers dig out the bamboo shoots and get them ready at around 5 p.m. Then these shoots will be shipped to the airport in the evening, and arrive at the markets in Shanghai the next morning,” said Wang Tingke, the head of the village.

In China, bamboo shoots are used as vegetables in numerous dishes and broths due to their crisp texture and sweet taste.

Xiong grows about 50 tonnes of bamboo every year, which can generate 18,000 Yuan income (about $2,650) annually. The bamboo shoots also bring him an extra income of 3,500 Yuan. He said that 10 years before, his income was less than 10 percent of the money that he makes now.

There are about 220 households like Xiong’s in the village with each having an average of two acres of bamboo forest, but before the roads were paved, it was problematic for them to think about shipping the bamboo and bamboo shoots for sale.

After the village was connected with the outside by roads, officials thought about developing tourism for improving the income of locals. They established a tourism company in 2012, which runs a rafting program and about one quarter of the villagers hold the company’s stock.

The tourism company fetched around 50 jobs for villagers, ranging from security guards and drivers to cleaners. Last year, the company earned about 1.4 million Yuan and each of the villagers holding the company’s stock got a share of 5,000 Yuan as a bonus.

Under the current national poverty standard, all residents got rid of poverty last year.

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