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From Farmland to Vineyard: Villagers in Fujian plant grapes to beat poverty
June 25,2018   By:CGTN
June 25, 2018 --One year ago today, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a keynote speech on the nation's battle against poverty. He vows to eradicate it by 2020. Xi called for targeted strategies to alleviate it in rural areas. Case in point - Southeastern China's Fujian province. Since the 90's villagers there have made concerted efforts to tackle poverty at its roots. XING RUINAN explains.  
 
Wu Xiufeng and her family have been planting grapes since the mid 1990s.
 
Wrapping them in paper bags, Wu waits about a month for them to ripen for both sales and wine production.
 
WU XIUFENG, VILLAGER ZHANGDUN, FUJIAN PROVINCE "Each year, we start planting grapes in March for our July harvest. After that, we produce wine at home and put it on sale in the winter. My family can earn some 100 thousand yuan a year from the grape business."
 
Mashing up the grapes by hand, they store them in large wine barrels.
 
Villagers make wine the old-fashioned way across most of Zhangdun, a mountainous village in China's Fujian province.
 
To avoid potential sanitation issues, local officials have set up a cooperative to regulate grape production.
 
Lin Qixing is the person behind Zhangdun's booming grape business.
 
LIN QIXING, LOCAL CPC PARTY CHIEF ZHANGDUN, FUJIAN PROVINCE "My brothers and I started planting grapes in 1988, but it wasn't until four years later that we succeeded and spread it out to fellow villagers. Before that, most villagers only grew rice and were not able to get rich from it."
 
Now, home-made wine in the village is well-known, thanks to the packaging bearing the brand name "Zhangdun".
 
The village produces an average of 150 thousand liters of wine a year, selling at 20 yuan per liter.
 
The success of the grape business has attracted more and more tourists, which in turn stimulates Zhangdun to develop its tourism.
 
LIN QIXING, LOCAL CPC PARTY CHIEF ZHANGDUN, FUJIAN PROVINCE "As more people have explored our village, we have decided to rely on the grapes and the natural sceneries to create a niche tourism market. At the same time, we have paid more attention to the protection of the ecological system."
 
When the mid-summer heat arrives, villagers say they stay close to home, selling wine in front of their houses. For them, poverty has become a distance memory.

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