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A man's climb from poverty to Xiaokang

Pub Date:2021-11-08 08:38 Source:Xinhua

Moderate prosperity, or "Xiaokang" in Chinese, can be measured in multiple aspects, but for Ge Dali, who was formerly on China's poverty list, it means a healthy body, a new house and a wider paved road that helps him sell livestock to places at higher prices farther away.

Born in the Dabie Mountains, one of China's poorest areas, Ge and his family lived in poverty for generations until seven years ago when he started raising goats and cattle.

"I wasn't able to farm because I suffered from slipped discs. My wife left me about 18 years ago, which was a big blow to me," said Ge, 55, from Tiansi Village, Qianshan City of east China's Anhui Province.

The humble man lived with his family in an adobe house for nearly four decades.

"Dark and wet inside, the house had few windows and its roof leaked whenever rained. It was so cold in winter. We had to light candles when there was a power cut," Ge's daughter Ge Yali recalled, pointing to the charred wall tainted by the candles.

In 2014, the family was registered as an impoverished household. To help the poor locals find their way out of penury, the local government carried out free vocational training courses and gave out subsidies to support them develop characteristic industries.

In that same year, the local government advised Ge to learn how to raise goats since the village enjoys an abundance of grass on mountain slopes. Ge then built his family farm with a support fund of 3,000 yuan (about 470 U.S. dollars) and technical guidance from the government.

As the government covers most medical bills for the poor households, Ge received surgery on his back and recovered gradually.

He made over 20,000 yuan in the first year selling his goats at the Spring Festival market in his village, which boosted his morale in the new business.

Riding on his goat success, Ge introduced cattle to his farm in 2018, hoping to bring his business to the next level. The local bank granted him a loan of 50,000 yuan free of interest to support his entrepreneurship.

He tended the animals whole-heartedly. Whenever experts came to the village, Ge would ask them for advice on how to raise goats and cattle more professionally. Within a year, he became an expert and shared his breeding experience with other fellows.

On average, Ge now earns about 50,000 yuan yearly selling his livestock, rice and tea, more than enough to lift his family out of poverty.

"There are 11 cattle and over 70 goats on my farm this year. The number has almost doubled compared with 2014," said Ge.

On a higher ground next to his old shack, Ge spent 90,000 yuan building a new two-story house equipped with electric appliances. The old house, which has been converted into a shed for his animals, continues to testify to his climb from penury to "Xiaokang."

A newly paved road was also built by the local government two years ago, linking Ge's home to the outside world.

"It used to be difficult to transport fodders in and animals out for sale on the narrow muddy road in front of my home. I had to herd them out to towns for sale during the Spring Festival, but now people can drive their trucks in to buy my goats and cattle," Ge added.

In a year the Communist Party of China (CPC) marks its 100th anniversary, China has realized the first centenary goal of achieving moderate prosperity in all respects. Ge is among the country's millions of impoverished population that have come out of abject poverty.

"I just paid off the 50,000-yuan loan to the bank a couple of days ago. I hope to expand my farm to raise more animals before I get too old," said the man.


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