Rural Women Benefit from NE China Business Microcredit Scheme

May 2017
China, May, 23 2017 - Fushun, a city in northeast China's Liaoning Province, has invested a total of 2.8 billion yuan (U.S.$ 406.3 million) into a subsidized microcredit scheme to help rural women start up their own agricultural businesses.

Since local women's federations came up with the policy in 2010, some 57,000 recipients have benefited from the scheme.

The policy was introduced to address the issue that, like many other areas in rural China, a majority of men from the villages around Fushun have moved from their hometowns to work in far-off cities while their wives are left to cultivate farmland and look after other family members.

In addition to the distributing small loans, Fushun Women's Federation has worked with locals to promote the most profitable agricultural products available and set up professional cooperatives in a bid to help them increase their personal income and battle poverty.

"The initiative has greatly ignited local women's enthusiasm towards business startups and attracted a rising number of rural migrants to return to their hometowns and launch independent businesses," said Yang Xiaolin, president of the federation, in a recent interview.

For instance, more and more traders from outside Liaoning have made trips to Weiziyu Township in Xinbin County to purchase the locally-produced mushrooms in the past several years. A professional cooperative in the township has built 150 greenhouses to raise shiitake mushrooms there, including three cold rooms with a coverage of 240 square meters for storage, and one drying chamber.

Meanwhile, around 90 percent of farmers in a village in Qingyuan County have been involved in the cultivation of Chinese medicinal herbs and the average annual income has risen from 12,000 yuan (U.S.$ 1,742) in 2011 to 35,000 yuan (U.S.$ 5,080).

The improvement of economic conditions amongst rural women has provided them with great stimulus in a bid to become model families in terms of traditional Chinese virtues and social rules, Yang added in her interview.

Source : Women of China

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