GUIYANG, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- A southwestern Chinese province with the largest impoverished population in the country will relocate more than 100,000 destitute rural residents into modern communities before spring 2013.
The move was part of a poverty alleviation project initiated last year to move 2 million farmers out of the province's poverty-ridden mountainous and desert areas within nine years.
According to the province's office on poverty relief and ecological migration, Guizhou built 180 new communities for the project in 2012, with a cost of 1.81 billion yuan (287.9 million U.S. dollars).
The first batch of 101,300 farmers are expected to move into their new homes before this year's Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on February 10, an official from the office said.
Guizhou is home to 11.49 million rural residents who are struggling below the national poverty line for farmers, which was raised to 2,300 yuan in per capital annual income in 2011.
The official said most of the communities were adjacent to towns and industrial parks where job opportunities abound, and the local governments will offer job training to help the farmers adapt to their new lives.
Those relocated near towns will also have access to education, medical services and other social welfare enjoyed by urban dwellers.
Officials in Guizhou said the project would relocate another 250,000 farmers in 2013.
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