Residents in rural Zhenjiang embrace happy life

Villages in Zhenjiang, east China’s Jiangsu province, are a paradise for local villagers, as well as a tourist attraction for urban dwellers, where locals are enjoying idyllic lifestyles and seeing prospects of long-term development. Xifeng village in the city of Zhenjiang is a good example.

Chen Wenjun, a turf broker in the village, is a man that helps his fellow villagers to live a well-off life. After quitting his job in Shenzhen 10 years ago, he went back to his hometown and assisted his peers in selling turfs.

Now the man, running turf business on an e-commerce platform, generates annual revenue of over 7 million yuan ($101 million), and the furthest destiniton of his turf is Singapore.

He has recently finished transaction of a batch of turf on the platform, selling his product to a real estate company more than 200 kilometers away in Anji county, Zhejiang province.

Though the winter has come, the coldness is not able to stop the villagers’ enthusiasm for making their products – they are still busy shoveling, bundling and transporting the turf in an orderly manner. According to Chen, each villager can earn around 400 yuan per day.

The turf business has improved the environment of the village and even children from the urban area come to the village on weekends to play on the meadow, said 62-year-old Li Zhishun, head of Fengxi village.

Over 10 years ago, a dirt road was the only link between the village and the township. Besides, 80 percent of the land is not cultivatable as it is on either hills or slopes. As a result, the villagers suffered extremely low income, which forced many of them to leave their hometown to find jobs.

Thanks to the turf business, villagers now don’t have to make a living out-of-town, and they have built houses and bought cars with their earning.

Ye Minglan is an owner of a farm in Shiye township on an eyot of the Yangtze River, Zhenjiang. The 4,000-square meter farm in 2013 has now expanded its coverage to over 73,000 square meters. With the plantation of strawberries, peaches, loquats, and grapes, the farm is attracting a large number of tourists all-year-round. According to Ye, the farm has created 18 jobs for local villagers.

In Shiye township, those who don’t own a business are still living a comfortable life, as the eyot where it locates boasts beautiful scenery and idyllic environment.

Hong Jiayong is an 80-year-old villager living in a two-storey building covering an area of about 200 square meters at the river bank with his wife, son and daughter-in-law. Hong has a pension, and his son and daughter-in-law work in town.

The old couple grow 13 kinds of vegetables and raise over 30 chickens in the yard. They often share the vegetables and eggs with their other children who work out-of-town.

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