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Household pasture boosts Tibetan herders' income

(Xinhua)    14:29, January 04, 2014
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LHASA, Jan. 4 -- Herder Chodrak kept counting her money again and again. It was the family's total income for 2013.

Chodrak, 40, and her five family members have 1.6 hectares of land for 209 sheep to graze on in Jurong Village, Lhunzhub County in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

"The average per capita income of my family last year surpassed 7,000 yuan (1,157 U.S. dollars). In the past, only noble families had so much," said Chodrak.

The herder earned the money from selling sheep and wool. She intends to buy her children new clothes, purchase some household appliances and save the rest in the bank.

"I plan to send my children to high school out of the region," Chodrak said.

Figures from a white paper on the region issued by the Chinese government in October showed that the per capita net income of farmers and herders in Tibet maintained double-digit growth for 10 consecutive years, reaching 5,645 yuan in 2012.

The country has pledged to support herders and aims to double farmers' income by the end of 2020 compared with that of 2010, according to agricultural minister Han Changfu in December.

In Jurong Village, more than 50 households live off sheep farming. To support the farming industry, the county's animal husbandry bureau provided subsidies of 6,000 yuan for each household in 2012.

"Thanks to this support, I plan to have over 300 sheep in the new year," Chodrak said.

Yonten, deputy director of the animal husbandry bureau in Lhunzhub County, said the area started to implement a household contract pasture project in 1988, to help herdsmen make money.

A total of 2,432 households in the county are making a living from yaks, cattle and sheep.

(Editor:ZhangQian、Yao Chun)

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