Sat, 25 Mar 2023

HEFEI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- It never occurred to 58-year-old Yang Xuesong that his deserted woodland property would one day become a tea plantation bringing him a good income and a better quality of life.

"I deposited the woodland to the local 'Liangshan Bank,' and have got the first rent of over 16,000 yuan (about 2,513.8 U.S. dollars)," said Yang, a villager in Liuxi Village, Xuancheng City, east China's Anhui Province.

Previously, the 1.53-hectare land covered with miscellaneous trees and weeds could hardly generate a profit for Yang. Thanks to the local "Liangshan Bank," the first of its kind in Anhui, green resources that Yang once deemed useless are now assets.

The name "Liangshan Bank," or "the bank of two mountains," came from the "two mountains" concept of Chinese leadership, according to which "lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets."

The "Liangshan Bank" acts as a platform for integrating the management rights of green resources to make better use of them. Those who have deposited resources in the platform could get rent, dividends and low-interest loans.

"By drawing the saving and loan pattern of the bank, we integrate the fragmented ecological resources from farmers and approach suitable investors to manage them," said Yao Hongwu, the village's Party secretary.

Seeing the benefits brought by the local "Liangshan Bank," 236 villagers in Liuxi have deposited their unused forest and farmland resources and all of them have received a passbook, which records the storage time, area and earnings.

"Previously, those scattered lands were hard to utilize and low value-added. By integrating them and introducing great projects, we could obtain multiple benefits," Yang said.

As of now, the Liuxi "Liangshan Bank" platform has integrated 151.7 hectares of land resources, which, after bringing in investment, have been developed into large-scale plantations of white tea, torreya and orchards, and created jobs for local people.

In 2020, the local farmers earned 3.6 million yuan by working in the plantations, and the income of rural collective businesses reached 547,000 yuan.

Besides Anhui, regions across China are exploring the "Liangshan Bank" to transform the unique resources in rural areas into assets, increasing farmers' income.

In Huzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, where the "two mountains" concept originated, "Liangshan Bank" has been widely established. The locals have formed an alliance to promote cooperation between counties and districts to manage resources, shape brands and introduce projects.

East China's Jiangxi Province has established new platforms including "Wetland Bank" and "Ecological Products Bank," and developed green finance products such as loans for forest resources and ancient villages.

According to Yao Hongwu, besides forest, farmland and water area resources, they also plan to integrate and utilize vacant homes to turn them into beds and breakfasts to develop rural tourism.

"By fully utilizing these rural resources, we not only offer more jobs for local farmers, but also improve the environment and inject vitality into the countryside," Yao said.

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