Tibet's poverty-stricken population nearly halved

Updated: 2011-02-28 19:29
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The number of Tibetan farmers and herders living in absolute poverty, with less than 1,700 yuan (about $258) per capita annual income, was almost halved in the past five years, poverty relief authorities in southwest China's Tibet autonomous region said on Feb 24, 2011.

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At the end of last year, Tibet had 502,000 people in absolute poverty, down from 964,000 reported in 2005, said a statement from the poverty relief office in Tibet's capital Lhasa.

It said Tibet launched 2,160 poverty-relief projects in the past five years, to provide vocational training for farmers and herders in poverty, upgrade infrastructure, foster Tibetan-specific industries such as traditional arts and crafts, tourism, food and herb processing, and eradicate endemic conditions that prevented people from earning a living.

In rural Tibet, it said, more than 117,000 hectares of agricultural development zones had been built to promote new farming technologies and increase agricultural output.

Meanwhile, 51 co-op organizations have been founded to boost cooperation in farming.

As a result, the per capita net income of Tibetan farmers and herders had seen double-digit growth for eight consecutive years. Last year, the figure reached 3,990 yuan, nearly double the 2005 level.

The document said poverty reduction work would be further intensified in the next five years to ensure an annual 13-percent growth in per capita incomes of the population in poverty.