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Village in Lijiang ends poverty through collective economy


Jiazi village, in the Yulong Naxi autonomous county of Yunnan province, has emerged from poverty and began carving out a better life for its people by developing a collective economy.

The village has a developed tourism industry thanks to the nearby Yulong Snow Mountain, but is also a typical agricultural village.

In the 1990s, peasants began renting out horses and costumes to tourists at the Yulong Snow Mountain scenic area, a tactic which proved to be successful, and gradually drew more attention to the village.

Eventually, there were about 800 horses and 70 yaks, gathered by over 2,000 people, available for rent by tourists. Other tourist services were also launched, such as minority costume rentals, ethnic song and dance performances, and catering services.

As local tourism continued to grow, farmers began taking full advantage of the industry, many of them giving up the intensive work of farming and animal husbandry completely.

Conflicts soon began to arise due to fierce competition and lack of standardized management, and the tourism service quality declined as a result. Villagers lived in even worse conditions than before.

The Yulong Mountain scenic area committee decided to establish its own tourism company in 2007 and take over all tourism operations. Farmers were asked to end their involvement in tourism and return to farming and animal husbandry, but were offered a subsidy based on revenue from the tourism industry.

The subsidy has increased from 10.5 million yuan ($1.6million) to 24 million yuan, an increase of 128.5 percent since the system was implemented.

"Our family life has undergone tremendous changes. We have moved from a log cabin into a spacious and bright apartment, and we also have our own car," Li Zhenhua, a villager, said with excitement.

The tourism industry has yielded good results, and Jiazi Village has now removed its name from the poverty list- 87 families were raised out of poverty in 2015 and the whole village followed in 2016.

People soon wanted to make their lives even better, and began to explore new ways to further improve the tourism industry.

The village started a wedding photography business in October 2016, and all the villagers were allowed to become shareholders.

Some of the profits will be used to improve infrastructure, education, and healthcare, as well as help with people's basic livelihoods. The rest of the money will be divided among the villagers.

The total income of the 2,480 people from 637 families in Jiazi village is now over 45 million yuan, and the per capita income has reached 18,500 yuan

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