The scene of the Jin’e village.
Five days before New Year 2022, Jin’e Village – in Ningbo’s Fenghua District – is ready for visitors who will be anticipating the information displayed on a large digital screen concerning local industry, tourist numbers and public services. Village roads are uniquely lined with garden plants that have specific information attached. It is convenient to purchase the one you like by ordering it through the applet “Jin’e yuan” on Wechat or online with the Jin’e Agriculture Museum.
Various modern amenities appeal to tourists and brand-new campsites and coffee shops are opening on New Year’s Day. However, back in the 1990s, Jin’e Village used to be a municipal poverty-stricken village. Zhou Kangjian, secretary of the CPC party branch of Jin’e Village, has been promoting the development of the village and it now attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually.
In 1994, with the encouragement of the local organization, Zhou shut down his promising factory to work as the head of Jin’e Village.
“Poverty eradication is the vital step of development,” Zhou states. After running a business for years, he has a keen market sense “After the reform and opening up, the progress of urbanization has accelerated. This evolution has also led to an increased focus on urban greening.”
Zhou took the initiative to invest 300,000 RMB in planting camphor as well as Osmanthus trees and made a net profit of 500,000 RMB the following year. This boosted confidence and encouraged further investment in garden plants from other villagers. A company operating in the mode of “base + villagers” was started and the main business is urban greening.
Year after year, villagers are having much better lives compared with the old days.
“Villagers were expecting more about the living environment with the massive development of the village.” Led by Zhou Kangjian, the village has made great progress in the construction of a new countryside since 2001, demolishing the old and building the new, transforming some residential areas to farmland, and integrating the six scattered natural villages.
“With rich resources on the mountain, people are better off in life.” That’s the true story in Jin’e Village. Over the past ten years, more than 300 new residences in four batches have been built in the Village, including more than 240 villas and over 80 apartment buildings. Among 410 households in the village, two-thirds of them have moved to new residences.
Ying Herong, a local of Jin’e Village, turned one of his houses into guesthouses that help to meet the demand of increasing visitors. “It’s been nearly a year. The profit is about 70 to 80 thousand RMB. A good deal.”
How to benefit more people and achieve common prosperity? A Regional Party Building Consortium was established in May, 2015. Five villages along Jinxi River – namely Leishan, Jiangjia Chitou, Shuiwuchang, Jin’e and Yujiaba – were to embark on the business of well-being under the leadership of Zhou Kangjian.
To develop agriculture and local tourism in combination, Zhou explored unique business models including harnessing the Jinxi River and building mountain trails. The village invested 2 million RMB to develop the Jinxi rafting project in 2016, which increased the collective income of each village by about 20,000 RMB annually. Meanwhile, local tourism has been booming after the launch of the Azalea Festival. Visitors come not only for appreciation of flowers, but meals and lodging and new business opportunities.
With the new year approaching, cold days are colored by warm sunshine. Standing on the newly built Jin’e Pavilion, Zhou has great confidence in the future of rural development.
Reporter: Hu Qi
Contributor: Chen Yin’er
Translator: Mei Jie
Proofreaders:Puyang Rong, Huang Dawang, Jason Mowbray