Corporation News
ChemChina: help Gulang be better
Source: ChemChina Date: 2020-04-22

Gulang County, one of the 23 poorest counties in Gansu Province in Northwest China, locates in the marginal lands of Liupanshan Mountain. In the spring of 2020, good news came from Gulang, where ChemChina has supported its poverty relief for years. In 2019, a total of 20,300 people went out of poverty in the County, and the incidence of poverty reduced to 0.07%. As 116 poverty-stricken villages shook off the poor condition, the overall goal of poverty alleviation in Gulang has been achieved.

Chinese wolfberry cultivates new hope

Chinese wolfberry is one of the most important cash crops in Gulang. In 2018, coordinated by ChemChina, Syngenta Foundation invested and built a 200 mu wolfberry demonstration park in Gulang. The 100,000 seedlings provided by Syngenta Foundation bore fruit in the second year and harvested 10,000 Kg. The output is expected to reach 50,000 Kg this year.

Gulang, with a-decade-history of Chinese wolfberry plant, accorded low benefit due to the traditional planting and airing way. The situation changed as ChemChina funded its establishment of a value-added processing workshop and drip irrigation facilities with 1.7 million yuan. These wolfberry fruit, containing much higher organic content, can be sold at 80 yuan each Kg, doubling the original price.

Cao Faxian, a 60-year-old planter, earned 30,000 yuan last year by planting Chinese wolfberry. In addition, he received 3000 yuan by leasing the land to the co-op. That was a far better life than before when he only had an annual income of 2,000 yuan.

Besides wolfberry, breeding and vegetable planting industries are also supported to lift people there out of poverty. In 2019, ChemChina allocated 5 million yuan to build 100 vegetable greenhouses in Gulang. Taking Syngenta's technical advantages in the global plant protection and seed industry, villagers gained guidance on the cultivation in greenhouse and development of the green growth plan. Another 6 million yuan was supported by ChemChina to construct a breeding base of 10,000 ewes in Gulang County, which can help 4,308 poor households to increase their income steadily.

E-commerce facilitates poverty alleviation

On the OA intranet of ChemChina, clicking "poverty alleviation procurement” column, its subsidiaries can purchase Gulang farm goods online, such as Chinese wolfberry, honey, dried noodles, grains and so on. Since e-commerce platform was launched in last summer, 62,096 orders have been completed, with sales revenue over 21.3 million yuan.

Cai Pengfa, who was sent by ChemChina to take temporary post in the County to help its development, was deeply touched by the efforts of ChemChina for poverty alleviation. However, as the deputy county head in charge of poverty relief, it is the most urgent task for him to make Gulang lower its dependence on ChemChina’s buying behavior as a poverty alleviation method and find its own position in the market. A large number of farmers have joined the mode of "co-op + base + farmer". Only when the farm goods that keep coming off the line are sold out in time can the farmer be given dividends. In March 2020, as soon as Cai completed his home quarantine according to the requirement in the epidemic time, he hurried to work with partners to find ways to sell the farm goods.

The e-commerce store is the first step for ChemChina to assist Gulang in poverty alleviation by increasing consumption of its farm goods. At the end of 2019, ChemChina decided to set up a special fund to deepen the promotion of Gulang’s farm goods on the e-commerce platform. By forging a long-term e-commerce operation mechanism, the move aims to help the local people add their income steadily and finally develop the economy independently.

Teach fishing rather than offer fish

Located at the edge of desert, Gulang suffers from a shortage of water. As a result, water use of the newly-build cluster of greenhouses is difficult to be guaranteed in dry season. To shoot the problem ChemChina invested 14 million yuan to support the construction of two 100,000 m3 reservoirs, which greatly eased the water shortage and seasonal supply-demand contradiction.

Fruits and vegetables planted in the greenhouse, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, are beautiful in appearance, bright in color and good in taste. They are very popular in the market despite higher prices. ChemChina’s subsidiary Syngenta provided seeds after selection in accordance with local conditions. Some pesticides were also specially developed for Gulang by the global farm giant. The Syngenta Foundation also sent technicians to guide local farmers in the field. So far, more than 400 people have received the training. ChemChina hopes to promote Syngenta's world leading plant protection technology to take root in the field through various measures.

Grassroots cadres play an important role in the fight against poverty. In September 2019, ChemChina invited 50 grassroots cadres from Gulang and Pingshan to conduct a one-week study and business training in Beijing, in a bid to upgrade their ability and make them pacesetters in poverty alleviation.

Every year, Bluestar, one of ChemChina’s SBUs, invites 10-20 excellent students and 1-2 teachers from Gulang to participate in Bluestar International Summer Camp, a summer camp hosted by Bluestar to link children around the world, to broaden their horizons and increase their knowledge. Bluestar makes an annual donation of 300,000 yuan since 2013 to sponsor a class in local high school, the Bluestar-New Great Wall Class, to help children from poor families finish their high school study. In 2019, ChemChina trade union funded 80,000 yuan to 8 poor students in Gulang who had been admitted to the universities, and the employees volunteered to fund 12 junior and senior high school students to complete their studies.

Gulang, the land of desert, has witnessed the miracle of changing sand into green. Now the people here are fighting back poverty as they have done over desert. They will eventually have an oasis of wealth and happiness.

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