Poverty relief, profits come hand in hand
Updated: 2019-08-30 Print
Dongda Mongolian King Group has created a flourishing desert town with a large population in Ordos, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, as it invested roughly 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) in desertification prevention, poverty relief and related industries over the past 20 years.
Dongda, a local cashmere products manufacturer, developed the 53-square-kilometer Fengshuiliang Park project in Dalad Banner to facilitate its sand-related businesses, which have turned the formerly barren wasteland into a land of hope.
The park in the east of the Kubuqi Desert, which gained approval to become a township in 2016, has attracted some 120,000 rural residents to become involved in the businesses.
Due to damage to the ecosystem caused by overgrazing, many local farmers lived in poverty and didn't have a steady income.
Poverty relief efforts require far more than donations, as helping a patient to recover his or her blood production capabilities is more important than merely blood transfusion, the company’s executives said.
Dongda has therefore begun to develop a variety of industries and called on the farmers to join in.
Entrepreneurs need to serve local communities, said Zhao Yongliang, board chairman of the company.
“Developing a regional economy, new countryside construction and technological innovations have all contributed to poverty alleviation,” he said.
Since the late 1990s, the company has invested 320 million yuan in a 33,333-hectare plantation of salix cheilophila, a type of shrub that withstands the desert environment, in the Kubuqi Desert.
Together with a total of 200,000 hectares of salix cheilophila plantations developed by local farmers as well as the pastures in between, the expanded greenbelt helps to improve the local environment and shield its nearby regions - including Beijing and Tianjin - from sandstorms.