China: Village official helps farmers escape poverty by growing fruits and vegetables

Despite the changes in her status — from a village official (who was a university graduate) to a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) — Wang Mengmeng, secretary of the general Party (Communist Party of China) branch of Jiuzi, in East China's Anhui Province, during the past decade has stuck to her dream of helping rural residents escape poverty through hard work.

Wang has always inspired herself with her original dream (of helping rural residents live better lives), especially when she has encountered difficulties. She will never forget an event that happened one day, several months before she graduated from the department of law at the Hefei University of Technology (in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province). When she saw a migrant woman worker doze off (under a tree near her school), holding a baby in her arms, Wang thought to herself, "Who would leave his/her home if he/she could find a job at the doorstep?" That inspired her to start a business in her hometown (Dingyuan), so jobs would be created for residents. She hoped, given the sound development of her enterprise, more residents, who had left their homes to work elsewhere, would return home to work for her.

During the summer of 2013, a short time after she graduated from university, Wang volunteered to work, as a village official, in Qinji, another village in Dingyuan.

Shortly after she was appointed the first secretary of Xikong, which was then a poverty-stricken village in Dingyuan, Wang established a modern agricultural park in Xikong. She encouraged farmers to cultivate strawberries (in the park), so they could attain wealth by selling the fruit.

"At that time, few villagers believed a young woman like me could help them escape poverty by growing strawberries. However, I have proved, through my actions during the past few years, that I'm as good as my word. In addition to teaching myself about the skills of growing strawberries, I have introduced foreign varieties of the fruit to Xikong's residents. As a result, I have gained the trust of many residents," recalls Wang.

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