Greenhouse projects are a common form of poverty alleviation in rural China, and many villages have enjoyed such programs in the past.
However, often plagued with mismanagement and poor planning, they’re proving to be far from a cure-all for rural counties, read a commentary by the news portal of Guangming Daily.
Some regions in East China’s Shandong Province are refusing greenhouse-based poverty alleviation projects because local farmers are reluctant to take part due to low returns and instead work in cities for higher wages.
Shandong’s case reflects two problems industrial poverty alleviation faces: management at the grass-roots level and uninformed selection of projects.
According to the Dazhong Daily report, a local newspaper in Shandong, governments allocate poverty alleviation funds to villages and towns, where local officials rarely make the most of them. Many opt for greenhouse-based projects, poverty alleviation workshops and other programs based solely on recommendations from superiors.
The trend shows how grass-roots leaders are failing to consider local conditions in their tone-deaf selection of poverty alleviation projects, the portal of Guangming Daily said.
The Shandong case shows that greenhouse-based projects often lack planning for sustainability, are costly to maintain and depend on market conditions.
Industrial poverty alleviation needs to take resources, market risks and villagers’ interests into account. Well-planned projects can benefit villagers in case poverty alleviation subsidies are educed or cancelled, the article read.