New technologies playing a major role in China’s poverty alleviation initiatives

Written By: Eric Biegon

Drones for Agriculture are some of the technologies at work in China's Hebei Province.

China has disclosed that adoption of latest technologies has contributed immensely to its dream of lifting millions of its citizens out of poverty. The country’s Ministry of Science and Technology noted this week that more than 20 billion yuan has been invested especially in impoverished areas and that this has greatly boosted local industries involved anti-poverty initiatives.

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According to the ministry, one of the key measures in combating poverty is sending scientific experts to impoverished villages to help bring frontier technologies to local people and industries.

“In the revitalization of rural areas, we believe that the role of science and technology will become greater and greater,” he said, adding that agricultural science and technological innovation will be given a more important position.

The vice-minister disclosed that some of the initiatives that have helped improve the quality of industrial development in impoverished areas, include the pursuit of technological breakthroughs, boosting business startups, training of professionals and commercialized research results.

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“The ministry has advanced poverty alleviation with greater input of science and technology as well as human resources.” China’s vice-minister of science and technology Xu Nanping said

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According to the ministry’s statistics, science and technology departments also launched 37,600 projects with the support of key national research and development programs and central funds, and introduced more than 50,000 technologies and new crop varieties to rural areas.

“Since 2012, over 289,800 technical personnel have worked at the forefront of the battle against poverty, providing technical and entrepreneurship services for nearly 100,000 villages on the poverty list.” He disclosed

Xu said the ministry has continued to study how to consolidate the poverty alleviation achievements. For example, Jinggangshan in Jiangxi province, one of the poor counties targeted by the ministry, was lifted out of poverty in 2017, but the ministry has continued its support in terms of projects, supervision and management, as well as personnel assignments.

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Moving forward, the ministry says it intends to do more research on how to apply the poverty alleviation experiences to China’s rural revitalization strategy.

For instance, Zhu Youyong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is amongst officials stationed in Yunnan province, a region that was once stricken by poverty, to aid poverty alleviation work.

He said the poverty mainly hit mountainous areas which also have rich forest resources. Zhu and his team introduced classes to teach farmers relevant technologies. Some ethnic groups in border areas have limited technical know-how, so Zhu and his team have established 36 classes and finished training more than 1,400 people, he said, adding that 12 classes are currently running with 720 farmers in the course.

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“We put our classroom in the field and taught them hand by hand. Each training course ran about half a year and after finishing the course, all students had shaken off poverty,” Zhu said.

“Half helped their relatives and friends out of poverty and 10 percent brought the entire village out of poverty.

“I know that in the front line of the fight against poverty, there are thousands of science and technology personnel like us who promote scientific achievements to villages, spread their knowledge to rural households and bring theories into practical action. They have made an indispensable contribution to our fight against poverty.” He added.

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