Farmland-to-forests project lifts Yan'an out of poverty

Yan'an, once a barren land riddled with poverty and desolation, is now a city proud of its ecology.


The project to turn farmland into forests has paid off for the northwestern Chinese city. Launching the project was not easy. At the start, local farmers had to be persuaded to shift from farming to planting. But soon after, the government provided economic support for the farmers to change their minds.


Sufficient sunshine and perfect temperature variations make Yan'an an ideal place to grow apples. Official statistics show that one out of every nine apples sold in China can be traced back to Yan'an. It's an industry valued as high as 10 billion yuan, more than enough to get Yan'an out of poverty and shift people's thinking about their livelihoods. And they now know it's time to protect the environment.