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Mountains of Silver and Gold
Luobie Township in Guizhou's Liupanshui City alleviates poverty by developing agriculture and tourism, turning green hills into mountains of silver and gold
By Wang Hairong | NO. 40-41 OCTOBER 5, 2017

Children of Buyi minority ethic group play by a wetland park in Luobie Township, Liupanshui City, Guizhou Province, September 9 (WANG HAIRONG)

Between rivers and lakes and green hills nestles idyllic Niujiao Village. Children in the village added vitality to the local picturesque scenery. Three cheerful girls dressed in pink shared a swing dangling from a thick wooden frame beside trees; several boys sat on a lawn playing poker, while other boys merrily played table tennis nearby; and two children squatted over a rock beside a river meandering through the village, playing with the water. Oblong-shaped red lanterns hang from the roofs of wooden houses, many in strings of four or five, adding color and an air of festivity to the village.

A spa in Luobie Township, Liupanshui City of Guizhou Province, September 9 (WANG HAIRONG)

Niujiao is one of the 13 villages administered by Luobie Township in Liupanshui City, southwest China's Guizhou Province. The villages have a total population of 40,800, 54.18 percent of whom belong to minority ethnic groups, and 9.18 percent of whom live in poverty, according to statistics from the township government. Most impoverished families are heavily indebted for their children's education or have members with disease or disability.

Girls on a swing in Luobie Township, Liupanshui City, Guizhou Province, September 9 (WANG HAIRONG)

As a targeted poverty alleviation campaign is sweeping across the province and the nation in general, Luobie, though remotely located in mountains, has not been left out. The township has started various poverty-alleviation initiatives from large-scale planting of tea and fruits such as cherries and kiwi to husbandry of pigs and chickens as well as apiculture and aquaculture. The plantation projects have provided employment for impoverished locals and increased their incomes.

Moreover, banking on its stunningly beautiful scenery, pleasantly cool weather and colorful minority culture, the township is actively developing tourism. Lodging and catering facilities including hot spring spas and resort villas have been built along a nearby river. For example, Niujiao boasts an exquisitely designed wetland park featuring a wide variety of flowers and water plants as well as a museum showcasing the culture of the local Buyi ethnic group.

A wetland park in Luobie Village, Liupanshui City, Guizhou Province, September 9 (WANG HAIRONG)

Tourism development and infrastructure construction have provided 675 impoverished people with jobs, increasing their average per-capita monthly income by over 3,800 yuan ($580.15), according to the township government.

Copyedited by Bryan Michael Galvan 

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