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In Pictures: China's Guizhou Province
Despite rapid growth, the historically poor region continues to struggle with underdevelopment and emigration.
Last updated: 17 Feb 2014 13:00
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Guiyang, China - Once the poorest province in China, Guizhou is now experiencing rapid development. Last year, farmers' average income in the southern province increased by 16 percent, according to state media.

Yet despite the growth, the region remains poor and relatively undeveloped. Some villages have no electricity or nearby source of drinking water.

In the village of Lina, 300 kilometres away from the provincial capital, the narrow, bumpy roads become impassable after it rains. Most of the villagers use motorcycles to get around, and people walk kilometres to bring back drinking water.

Many young people refuse to stay in the village, and look for work elsewhere. Thirty-two-year-old Qi Mingzheng has worked in Shenzhen - population 10 million - for five years now, coming home once a year. Qi regularly sends money to his parents, but it's barely enough, given that he also has to support his wife and seven-year-old daughter.

"Only old ones stay here," he says. They still work in the fields, cultivating sugarcane and maize. Farmers can sell a ton of sugarcane for 450 RMB ($72) - a 13 percent drop from last year's prices, which shocked most of the village's farmers. "It's a hard place to live," Qi adds.

 


/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Qi Mingzheng, 32, left his village five years ago to look for work opportunities in Shenzhen.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Though the Chinese government seeks to invest in rural areas, parts of Guizhou’s countryside remain among the poorest in China.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Villagers are satisfied with small positive change - before, they could afford only maize on a regular basis. Today, they can afford rice and vegetables imported from other provinces.  



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Water scarcity is the main problem in Lina village. People collect rainwater in containers, because the weather this year caused the nearest well to dry up.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Kids find simple ways to entertain themselves: building paper airplanes or playing children’s games. 



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

A small school at the village has three teachers and more than 50 pupils.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

About 300 people live in the village.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

As the young leave to work in other parts of China, aging grandparents stay in the village. They rarely see doctors and nurses, usually treating themselves with local medicine. To find a doctor they have to make a journey of around 20 kilometres.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Those who stay cultivate sugarcane, pepper and maize. Farmers sell crops to a small company, which owns a plant in the nearest city.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

The price of sugarcane fell by 13 percent this year, hurting local farmers.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Residents of nearby villages come to the nearest town to sell food at the market.




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images:
/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414952909349_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/20142141495350213_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414953206607_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414953518909_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414954253865_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414954893125_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414955518348_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414955784989_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414956847929_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414956393773_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/14/201421414957440308_8.jpg
captions:

Qi Mingzheng, 32, left his village five years ago to look for work opportunities in Shenzhen.

;*;

Though the Chinese government seeks to invest in rural areas, parts of Guizhou’s countryside remain among the poorest in China.

;*;

Villagers are satisfied with small positive change - before, they could afford only maize on a regular basis. Today, they can afford rice and vegetables imported from other provinces.  

;*;

Water scarcity is the main problem in Lina village. People collect rainwater in containers, because the weather this year caused the nearest well to dry up.

;*;

Kids find simple ways to entertain themselves: building paper airplanes or playing children’s games. 

;*;

A small school at the village has three teachers and more than 50 pupils.

;*;

About 300 people live in the village.

;*;

As the young leave to work in other parts of China, aging grandparents stay in the village. They rarely see doctors and nurses, usually treating themselves with local medicine. To find a doctor they have to make a journey of around 20 kilometres.

;*;

Those who stay cultivate sugarcane, pepper and maize. Farmers sell crops to a small company, which owns a plant in the nearest city.

;*;

The price of sugarcane fell by 13 percent this year, hurting local farmers.

;*;

Residents of nearby villages come to the nearest town to sell food at the market.

Daylife ID:
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Photographer:
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Image Source:
Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
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