Three Gorges migrants benefit from changes

By Sun Yuqing (
Updated: 2007-04-23 08:37

Three Gorges migrants benefit from changes
A general view shows the orange field in the Friendship Village in Zhongxian County, Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, April 22, 2004. The planting of orange helps to improve local migrants' average annual income to 1,600 yuan. The planting of orange helps to improve local migrants' average annual income to 1600 yuan. [ Yuqing]
Zhongxian County, Chongqing -- Zhongxian County has three highlights that make it a charming place and a promising land for investment in Three Gorges Project Reservoir Area, said Liu Guizhong, the head of the country, April 22, 2007.

Liu is very confident to improve the living standard of 70,000 migrants during the hydropower project in this mountainous region.

Liu explained that the county has been working with Seagram Co Ltd since 1997 to plant and process the citrus in Zhongxian County and aims to build the county into the largest base for China's citrus.

An agricultural official from Zhongxian County added that the local government plans to expand the total area of orange from the existing 100,000 mu to 300,000 mu in 2015 with an scheduled output of 90 tons of orange.

In addition, two large juice processing companies in cooperation with Chongqing Three Gorges Construction Ltd Group are making sound preparations to export the juice products to foreign countries.

The Friendship Village has been one of the most successful places in Zhongxian County for the migrants to get rich through oranges. Li Zongshi, an official of the village, said that the farmers, 60 percent of whom are migrants, can have an annual pure income of 2810 yuan from high-quality oranges.

A 71-year-old farmer surnamed Mao told the reporters that he planted 4 mu of orange and won the annual gross income of 5000 yuan, including the cost of 1500 yuan. The village also has new problems since most of the farmers nowadays choose to work in big cities. Li Zongshi said that the village authority began to help the farmers to rent their orange filed in an effort to ensure the management of orange field.

Besides the orange planting and ambitious agricultural industry plan, Zhongxian County Head Liu Guizhong also thinks high of the tourism resources, especially a 400-year-old scenery spot called Shibaozhai, a wooden architecture built on the steep hill that is mainly made of a whole stone. The rising water level caused by the Three Gorges Project threatens this building and will submerge the low part, however a protection project, including a 1.5-kilometer cofferdam, is well underway, and the project has an investment of 90 million.

Liu Guizhong also explains that both the local government and Chongqing Municipality has carried out a series of favorable measures to attract investment and promote the economy development. Now new companies in auto and medicine are under construction with the assistance of the well-developed costal provinces, such as Zhejiang. A manager of Yunhe Group said that the company helps 3000 migrants to find jobs.

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