Raising pigeons lifts Xinjiang villagers out of extreme poverty

02:18

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China is a key area where the country is working hard to overcome extreme poverty.

Industrial development plays an essential role there, sometimes surprisingly. In Shache County, small birds bring in great fortune. Breeding pigeons allow the villagers to get rid of extreme poverty.

Tohtikurban is a farmer living in Shache County. He has been breeding pigeons for over two decades, but only started developing his business a few years ago, when he started to cooperate with a new base for breeding pigeons.

Tohtikurban, a farmer living in Shache County, shares his history of breeding pigeons with CGTN. / CGTN

Tohtikurban, a farmer living in Shache County, shares his history of breeding pigeons with CGTN. / CGTN

Since then, Tohtikurban and his wife’s life continues to improve with more money earned.

“I learned breeding techniques and different processing methods. Previously, I earned 5,000 yuan per year (about $ 750), but now it has risen to 12,000 yuan per year,” he said. declared to CGTN.

The county is now home to 120,000 young pigeons. The local government has invested nearly 20 million yuan to establish the pigeon breeding base.

Eggs and meat from pigeons are sold all over the country. Raising pigeons provides a way out of poverty for local farmers and has become an important industry in the county, creating employment opportunities for poor families.

Li Xiaofu, vice director of Junqi Pigeon Breeding Company, talks to CGTN. / CGTN

Li Xiaofu, vice director of Junqi Pigeon Breeding Company, talks to CGTN. / CGTN

Supported by modern technology and mass automation, grassroots pigeon breeding has seen its production increase by 40% compared to traditional methods.

“Our products have been sent to many places in Kashgar Prefecture, even Beijing and Shanghai. The business has generated profits for the villagers,” said Li Xiaofu, vice director of Junqi Pigeon Breeding Company.

The first secretary of the village of Rawat Ostang, Obulkasim Omar, talks to the CGTN. / CGTN

The first secretary of the village of Rawat Ostang, Obulkasim Omar, talks to the CGTN. / CGTN

Rawat Ostang village first secretary Obulkasim Omar said jobs for 75 underprivileged households have been secured by establishing the pigeon breeding base.

“The company supports nearly 600 villagers. Each household earns more than 5,000 yuan by raising pigeons,” he added.

Many others, like Tohtikurban, also ensure a stable income by running their own businesses with support from the local government.

By raising the little birds, they fly higher and closer to their final destination in early 2021 in a China free from extreme poverty and hardship.


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