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Villagers living the high life on the road to prosperity
By:China Daily
update:February 08,2018

Fruitful developments

The road has been a boon to Lan and his family. Every year, his daughter, Lan Guichun, grows more than 2,000 kilograms of grapes on her 1.5 hectares of land.

Before the road was built, she had to employ six men to carry the fruit to the county seat for sale. That is no longer necessary.

"Now, I only need to wait in my house for the local wine producer, Jiuzhaigou Natural Wine Industry Co, to collect the grapes," the 31-year-old said.

In 2001, the company established a winery in Laoying. Grapes grown by villagers are collected and stored at the facility, and the company makes 6,000 metric tons of wine every year.

The road and the development of the local wine industry have helped 23 impoverished households-about 93 people-to break out of poverty, especially as the company provides local farmers with training to help them grow their grapes. The work provides extra per capita income of about 3,200 yuan a year.

"The training helped a lot because I learned when to prune branches and how to use fertilizer," Lan Guichun said.

Every villager's small vineyard has its own concrete road which allows trucks to enter and transport the grapes to the winery, making life more convenient.

"About 10 years ago, every ton of grapes had to be carried up the hill to the winery," said Xiao Shan, general manager of Jiuzhaigou Natural Wine Industry Co.

"The rocks and dirt roads made production very difficult."

The poor infrastructure also made it difficult to take delivery of materials brought in from Shandong province which were used in the production and packaging processes.

Ten years ago, the journey took about two weeks, but the road means it now takes half that time, he added.

The improved access has also boosted profits, which have risen tenfold in the past decade, from 10 million yuan to 100 million yuan a year.

Last year, an e-commerce company was set up in Chengdu, the provincial capital, to sell the wine online.

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