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Broom plant sweeps away Xinjiang villagers' poverty

China Daily| Updated: July 21, 2020


Villagers make brooms in Uzunerik village, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on March 19, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Uroziali and a group of villagers set up a small workshop and pooled their money to buy sorghum stalks and other materials to make brooms. But the group's first brooms didn't sell well due to their poor design and function.

"It was a huge blow to us. We were ready to give up the business and turn the brooms into feed for cattle," said Memtimin Akh, head of the broom plant.

Undaunted, Uroziali insisted on sticking to the broom business. He consulted broom factories in other parts of China and upgraded the broom-making machines. He also visited grocery stores in the prefecture to promote the villagers' new products.

His perseverance paid off. The brooms sold well in Hotan Bazaar. The first batch of 1,000 brooms was snapped up by customers for 20,000 yuan.

"The villagers jumped with joy at the news. They finally saw a path to making more money," Memtimin said. The broom manufacturing plant now covers more than 1,000 square meters and employs 100 residents. Annual sales revenue generated by the broom sales exceeds 5 million yuan ($715,000).

Mireximu Nizamidin, 56, works at the broom plant. He and his wife used to make straw mats for a living, and could only earn 70 yuan a day. Now he earns more than double that amount, bringing home five yuan for each of the 30 brooms he makes every day.

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