October 17 marks China’s National Poverty Relief Day, also the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year is special, as China aims to realize the poverty eradication goal of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the end of 2020, ten years ahead of schedule.
With the commitment to social service, ZJU faculty and students have been dedicating their work to alleviating poverty in underdeveloped areas across China. Here are some prime examples of how ZJUers have helped local people out of poverty in Jingdong Yi Autonomous County in Pu’er City, Yunnan Province through innovation and the growth of businesses.
Wuliang Mountain is home to a diversity of precious wild mushrooms. CHEN Zaiming, an expert in wild fungi and an associate professor at Zhejiang University, had a chance encounter with several shiitake mushrooms in deep mountains after a shower of rain in early summer. He felt very excited as if obtaining the most precious treasure and decided to set up a laboratory in Jingdong for the preservation and cultivation of wild mushrooms through the cutting-edge technology. After 7 years of experiments, shiitake mushrooms are now successfully cultivated and industrialized. The cultivation of the once-obscure shiitake mushrooms has now become one of the major industries to help local people to boost income and alleviate poverty.
Zijin Pu-erh Tea
Jingdong is rich in tea. Prof. WANG Yuefei, Director of the Zhejiang University Tea Research Institute, led his team to develop and produce high-quality Zijin pu-erh tea, which has become a signature item among ZJU alumni. The revenue of Zijin pu-erh tea has added up to 30 million yuan in recent years. Pu-erh tea has, so to speak, become a cash cow for Jingdong people.
Jingdong silkie chickens, also known as black-bone chickens, have remarkable nutritious value, but Jingdong people didn’t get rich even if they had “golden phoenixes”. Prof. YIN Zhaozheng, humorously nicknamed as a “chicken commander-in-chief”, prescribed a “wonder drug” after conducting an in-depth survey. He employed modern biotechnology and helped about 60,000 people out of poverty by developing the local chicken farming industry.