"The most difficult part of our life here is we don't have wheat to eat, we don't have coal to get heat, and we don't have water. Life is very hard."
16. Mid of chopping hay
17. Wide of chopping hay
18. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin): Hai Xianglin, farmer
"The society is developing and the economy is booming. We saw it on the television, but we are not capable to live in that life. I never went to school, I can't read, and I have no skill or other ability to make a living."
Liangtian Town, Ningxia Province - 12, April 2008
19. Wide of pedestrian traffic on a busy street in Liangtian Town
20. Wide of shoppers in a supermarket
21. Mid of a woman picking an apple in the supermarket and putting it into her cart
22. Wide of televisions on sale in the supermarket with customers speaking to a salesperson
Bejing - 27 June, 2008
23. Wide of Peter Zetterstrom walking into room
24. SOUNDBITE: (English) Peter Zetterstrom, Programme Manager China Social and Economic Development team, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
"The question is how do we get the money to the right place? That is always difficult, and they've moved their emphasis from 592 poor counties to targeting the village level instead where they're now looking at 150,000 villages to try and make sure that they're reaching all of the poor."
Shanzhuang Village, Ningxia Province - 11, April 2008
25. Wide of the Hai family tending their farmland
26. Close of Cao Xiang Yang, Poverty Relief Official of Ningxia Autonomous Region Government
27. Wide of Cao talking to Hai family as he reaches down to pick up soil
28. SOUNDBITE (English): Cao Xiang Yang, Poverty Relief Official of Ningxia Autonomous Region Government
"The best way is to move the people in this remote mountainous area to a better place-- to the plane area where they can get irrigation and have insured harvest."
Yinchuan, Ningxia Province - 12, April 2008
29. Close of a television displaying a commercial
30. Wide of a television set and Yu Zhipeng's son pulling a chair out of a desk, pan left to Yu Zhipeng and his wife sitting on the couch watching television in their bedroom
31. Close of Yu's face laughing
32. Mid of watermelon plants and Yu's wife, Junlan, pruning the watermelon plants
33. Wide of Yu's wife tending watermelon plants
34. Wide of a watermelon hanging from a vines, change focus to another watermelon hanging from the vine
35. SOUNDBITE (Ningxia Dialect): Yu Zhipeng, relocated from the mountainous region in Yingyuan County to a suburb of Yinchuan:
"The annual income was about 600 yuan per person. But here, the annual income is over 2,000 yuan. From the mountainous region to here, from mountain village to city suburb, our life has improved a lot indeed."
Shanzhuang Village, Ningxia Province - 11, April 2008
36. Wide of Hai and his son tending their farm
37. Close of Hai's hands releasing seeds into a planter tube tilt up to Hai's face
38. Wide low angle of a rake and Hai and his son planting seeds
China has embarked on an ambitious programme to lift its people out of poverty, but as (m) millions have flocked to the cities leaving behind the harsh life in the countryside the gap between the urban and rural incomes has grown
The challenge for the leaders in Beijing is to help those left behind, and for some, such as cave dweller, Hai Xianglin, this could mean relocation.
Hai is one of thousands of Hui ethnic minority living in caves carved out of the hillside. He shares his cave house with his wife and son, and he said life is hard.
The average income in Ningxia is 82 US dollars per year, and 80 per cent of people in the region are classified as poor, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Because of the region's severe climate, the family often runs out of food and heating sources in winter.
Hai's wife, Zhou Shenglian said making bread is a luxury for the family.
Water has to be bought in the next big town and shipped into the cave by truck.
The dry, arid land is difficult to plant crops, and the staple food for the family is potatoes.
Zhou said: "The most difficult part of our life here is we don't have wheat to eat, we don't have coal to get heat, and we don't have water. Life is very hard."
Hai said he hopes that one day he can be part of China's booming economy, but he said he is lacking the skills and education needed.
"The society is developing and the economy is booming. We saw it on the television, but we are not capable to live in that life. I never went to school, I can't read, and I have no skill or other ability to make a living," he said.
And while many (m) millions of farmers from rural China are migrating to the big cities, many are left behind, and the income gap has widened considerably since the 1970s.
Incomes in cities are now more than three times higher than in rural areas.
The challenge for the government is how both the cities and the rural areas can enjoy the fruits of China's rosy economy.
To combat rural poverty, the government has increased investment in rural areas. It has focused on education, created a medical insurance system and worked on a basic living and salary system.
The government has also changed the way that it targets poverty. Tackling village level across the country, rather than just focusing on particular poor provinces and counties.
The United Nations Development Program programme manager, Peter Zetterstrom said the government was targeting those most in need.
"The question is how do we get the money to the right place? That is always difficult, and they've moved their emphasis from 592 poor counties to targeting the village level instead where they're now looking at 150,000 villages to try and make sure that they're reaching all of the poor," he said.
The UNDP said poverty is most severe in China's geographic and social margins.
Many of the poor live adverse conditions in remote, mountainous regions, while ethnic minorities, for cultural and historic reasons are often are much less able to tap into China's meteoric rise in wealth.
For people in Ningxia, both ethnic and geographical issues play a part. The Hai family are Muslim, ethnic Hui minority, so they could face some social discrimination.
The arid land in their village is increasingly an issue.
A local poverty relief expert is visiting the family to teach them new farming techniques to improve their output.
Poverty Relief Official, Cao Xiang Yang suggests the family use plastic bags to trap water for irrigation for the fields. He said there's not enough rain for the crops. Cao thinks the only long term solution is to relocate the families to the good farming land on the plains.
Cao said the government has offered the farmers in the mountainous regions relocation to the lowlands, in which the government pays half the relocation costs, and the villager pays the other costs.
"The best way is to move the people in this remote mountainous area to a better place - to the plane area where they can get irrigation and have insured harvest," he said.
But in the case of the Hai family, they cannot afford to move, so they are resigned to watching China's economic boom from afar.
The Yu family has successfully made the leap from a cave dwelling in Yingyuan county to a home in Yinchuan.
Yu Zhipeng said they can now afford to eat properly, and can buy luxuries such as a television - something unheard of in the cave dwellings.
Yu now has a successful watermelon business, and has managed to buy greenhouses with the help of the government to improve the crop yields.
The family's annual income has risen from 85 US dollars to to almost 300 US dollars since moving to the plains.
He said: "The annual income was about 600 yuan per person. But here, the annual income is over 2,000 yuan. From the mountainous region to here, from mountain village to city suburb, our life has improved a lot indeed."
For the farmers left on the geographical and social fringes of China's booming economy, many are just hoping that the seeds of opportunity sewn by the Government will bear fruit for society's neediest.
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