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A Million Mou a Day

Year:1958 Issue:1



Release Date:1958-03-04

Page: 4,5

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In a matter of four months the peasants of post-liberation China accomplished two-thirds of what it took their forefathers four thousand years to do. According to statistics available up to February 20, they have built enough water conservancy projects to put 165 million mou of land under irrigation. The total irrigated area in pre-liberation China was 240 million mou.

For four months the peasants have been turning out in force to work on water conservancy in a voluntary mass movement sweeping the entire country. In October, 30 million people responded to the initial call. In November, 60-70 million turned out and in December, 80 million. By January this year 100 million were on the job. Every day one out of every six people in China was out in the open spaces digging and hacking the hills to bring water to the farmlands. From the Tienshan Ranges in Sinkiang, in China's far west, to the north China plains, from the pasturelands in Inner Mongolia to the Pearl River valleys in the south, work proceeded in all weather by day and by the light of torches, lanterns and pressure lamps by night. There was not enough machinery for all the people that had turned out In most cases the tools used were not modern, just picks and shovels, baskets and poles to take the earth away. Yet by sheer determination and ingenuity the work was done, adding a million mou of irrigated land every day. This sweeping advance in irrigation, coupled with increased preparation of fertilizer during the winter months, assures the Chinese peasants of greater crops. In old times the Chinese peasants were at the mercy of nature's whims. Now as they arc remaking nature, they are telling one another that the days when "man proposes and God disposes" are definitely coming to an end.

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