Yunhe County in Zhejiang is developing a wooden toy industry to provide a prosperous life for relocated rural residents

Yunhe County in Lishui City, East China’s Zhejiang Province is surrounded by mountains. In the past, a significant number of rural residents of Yunhe lived in the mountains and areas around reservoirs, which made it difficult for them to enjoy a prosperous life.

A worker makes wooden toys at a toy company in Yunhe county, Zhejiang province, June 4, 2021. [Xinhua]

By shifting its population, industrial and utility resources to the county seat, Yunhe achieved a leap forward in coordinating development between the county seat and its surrounding rural areas. By May 2022, the county had relocated 40,600 rural residents, about 58% of whom had left mountainous areas.

Lan Shaofang works at a local wooden toy company. It manufactures more than 1,000 pieces of toys in one day, and the wooden toys have been sold to countries and regions in Europe, including France and Italy. “I can earn about 3,500 yuan ($521.85) a month,” the woman said.

Another relocated rural resident in Yunhe, Li Mingli, 26, now works as an e-commerce customer service staff member for the same toy company, earning more than 4,000 yuan a month. A 33-year-old delivery man, Wang Hongzhang, earns more than 7,000 yuan a month. Thanks to the wooden toy industry, quite a number of rural residents and their family members have obtained jobs within the locality.

“Making wooden toys is a labor-intensive industry. Manufacturing techniques are easy to learn and the threshold for entering the industry is low. Therefore, it is a good choice for relocated farmers,” said Ren Junwei, head of Yunhe County Development and Reform Department.

At present, there are more than 1,000 wooden toy enterprises in Yunhe, and 80% of them are run by relocated farmers. These companies employ a total of over 31,000 people and some 70% of relocated farmers now work for toy companies. In 2021, the total output value of the wooden toy industry in Yunhe was 9.19 billion yuan, up 14.9 percent year on year.

At an e-commerce business in Yunhe, vendors held a live broadcast to promote locally produced wooden toys. “This year, we held more than 100 live broadcast sessions, which contributed to a wooden toy sales volume of more than 2 million yuan,” said Zhang Haibo, director of the company.

“We started cultivating the e-commerce industry in 2015, and so far the industry has provided jobs for over 10,000 people,” said Lan Xuefei, head of the economy and trade bureau. from Yunhe. Between January and April this year, online retail sales of goods in Yunhe reached 1.1 billion yuan, up 27.5 percent year on year.

During the period from 2011 to 2021, Yunhe’s total industrial output value increased from 7.4 billion yuan to 25.5 billion yuan. Moreover, Yunhe’s urbanization rate increased from 60% to 73.4% during the same period, while the per capita income of rural residents in Yunhe increased from 7,570 yuan to 24,600 yuan. At present, 78% of rural residents employed in the locality are engaged in secondary and tertiary industries.

(Source: People’s Daily Online)

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