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N. China's Desheng village paves path to prosperity

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Desheng village in Hebei province has won the battle against poverty by developing local business based on its conditions.

China.org.cnUpdated: October 19, 2020

Blessed with rich sunshine, the village also installed rows of photovoltaic panels by the roads and built two photovoltaic power stations with a total capacity of 500 kilowatts in the village.

"Villagers call the photovoltaic poles 'iron crops,' as they bring in more than 600,000 yuan a year from power generation sent to the grid," said Li Zhijun, an official from Hebei provincial bureau of industry and information technology.

Li said the income is divided between everyone in the village. Impoverished households received 3,000 yuan annually, and other households 1,500 yuan a year.

Last year, Sun Guiying's family was one of 96 households in the village that moved into newly-built two-story houses, built with a poverty-relief fund.

Photo taken on Aug. 21, 2020, shows rows of newly-built two-story houses in Desheng village, Zhangbei county in Hebei province. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

"The house is equipped with heating system, indoor flush toilets and warm water in bathroom," said Sun. "We don't need to worry about the cold winter when we had to heat up our home with a stove and brave outside to use the latrine."

Last summer, a 5-kilometer road was built linking the isolated village to the national highway, which brought tourists to the grassland resort of Zhangbei. The resort has also been touted as "China's Woodstock" due to a rock music festival that has been gaining popularity in recent years.

Sun and her family decided to use their spare rooms as guestrooms, taking advantage of the summer music festival to develop a hospitality business. During the three months of the 2019 tourist season, Sun earned 24,000 yuan from the guesthouse, even higher than all the revenue the family made in the past three years.

Seeing her success, more people followed suit. In 2019, the village received over 50,000 visitors, making hospitality and tourism another income growth driver. 

After graduating from college and working as an intern in Hebei's capital Shijiazhuang for half a year, Xu Yaru, 23, decided to return to her hometown and start a business.

Xu Yaru checks on the medicinal herb she planted under rows of PV panels on June 23, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Xu said she could come back to make a living because of the major changes in Desheng. As the village mulls over plans to develop a health and wellness industry, she wanted to try medicinal herb cultivation based on what she learned in college.

The rural revitalization policy has provided a platform, helping Xu and other young returnees like her to turn ideas into promising careers, she said.

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