Mr Jiwei WANG, aged 38, is the founder and chairman of Huzhai Brothers farming cooperative in Lankao County, Hunan Province.
Located in the central-north of China, Lankao County is one of the key areas for national poverty alleviation and development. The annual per capita net income of Lankao is only 3,200 RMB (about US$500).
With a population of 760,000 and 156,502 acres agricultural land, Lankao is also a national commodity grain base and it is rich in wheat, corn, soybean, peanut, cotton, apples, grapes and jujube.
Wang is a social innovator who believes that working together is the only road that leads to a poverty free community. In 2001 Wang led the villagers in Huzhai to establish a collaborating system in farming planning, agricultural production and marketing. 10 years later, Wang’s work has encouraged over 1,900 farmer families in the neighbourhood villages to form 13 cooperatives. These cooperatives became community centres in the villages and bring people together. Cooperatives not only help the families to increase income dramatically, they are also places of entertainment, care programs for elderly people and farming technology training.
In December 2010, Wang was selected by Fuping Development Institute to join a study-tour to Daichi organic farming company in Japan co-organised by GLI. Wang was deeply encouraged by the success of Daichi which is based profoundly on the trust between farmers and consumers. The management and business model of the Japanese farmers association was also a great reference for Wang’s own cooperative in Lankao.
Wang expressed his deep gratitude to Robin Rowland and GLI at the award ceremony in the office of Fuping on Jan 26th, 2011. Fuping is a leading NGO in China in the area of rural development and has been a close partner with GLI since 2006. The prize of £2,000 will be mainly used on training courses for local farmers in the area of organic farming technology and farming standards. Part of the prize would also be used to expand the new technology lab, a greenhouse to test and demonstrate new varieties of vegetable planting.