Across China: Partially blind "cow listener" shakes off poverty
NANCHANG, May 21 (Xinhua) -- After his wife left home to escape poverty and disease in 2013, Zheng Fuping, a visually-impaired villager in east China's Jiangxi Province, struggled to get by with two young children.
"At that time, it was really hard to make a living," said the 41-year-old whose vision decreased to only 20/200 due to an eye disease at the age of 17.
It was not until 2014, when Zheng's family was identified as a poverty-stricken household, that his life was improved by the country's poverty reduction policies. After hearing the introduction made by the poverty alleviation team, he decided to pull himself together and find ways out of poverty.
By chance, he heard the story of a disabled man who couldn't walk but became rich by raising cattle which was broadcast on television.
"It struck me at the time," Zheng said.
Every night after that, he would sit in front of the television and learn about cattle breeding. Gradually, he began to try to raise some cattle and sheep himself.
"The most common thing I heard was to feed them Chinese herbs to build up their immunity," he said.
Huanxi Village in Yuanzhou District of Yichun City, the mountainous and wooded area where Zheng grew up, boasts a variety of natural Chinese herbs. Familiar with his surroundings, the man with poor eyesight got up before 4 a.m. every day to pick Chinese herbs in the mountains with his father's help.
Zheng even judged the health of his cattle and sheep by listening to their breathing.
"If a cow or sheep coughs, it is probably sick," he said.
As he experience grew, so did the size of his herd. In 2017, the agricultural bureau of Yuanzhou District, which is in charge of helping Zheng's village get rid of poverty, built him a new cowshed for more than 50 cattle.
Zheng earned more than 100,000 yuan (about 14,103 U.S. dollars) that year, lifting his family out of poverty.
Last year Pan Qijing, Zheng's neighbor and a poverty-stricken villager who once looked down on him, asked Zheng how to raise sheep.
"If you believe me, just follow my lead," Zheng said to Pan. With Zheng's help, Pan earned more than 10,000 yuan last year by raising livestock. He expects to earn more this year.
"I have suffered many difficulties before but a lot of people helped me to overcome them," Zheng said, adding that he planned to build a new chicken shed in the mountain to raise chickens. Enditem