China Pharmaceutical University (CPU): Exploring a multipronged approach to poverty alleviation


Five years ago, when the China Pharmaceutical University (CPU) established a one-on-one support relationship with it, Zhenping was the only county in Shaanxi province that was not served by a single meter of highway. After 5 years of relentless targeted support, CPU has facilitated the incorporation of Ankang Puxin Pharmaceutical Company in Zhenping, a 1 billion RMB joint venture by Changzhou Fangyuan Pharmaceutical and Cheung Kong groups that specializes in the manufacture of Chinese herbal medicine granules.

In 2018, building on its initial success in attracting investment to Zhenping, CPU continued to help the county build an expanded Chinese medicine value chain by mobilizing social and corporate resources.

Organizational support. CPU’s top management set up a steering group responsible coordinating poverty alleviation efforts across the university. So far, CUP’s management team has organized 21 field trips for business delegations to Zhenping. In 2018, professor ZHANG Chaofeng at CUP, an expert in research into Chinese herbal medicine granules, was appointed as deputy governor to oversee the implementation of the joint venture project.

Intellectual support. CPU prepared and implemented the Zhenping Medicinal Herbs Industry Development Plan and the Ankang Biomedical Industry Development Plan. It also organized management and technical training workshops for local government officials, a number of field trips for over 20 professors to Zhenping, and training for 1,000 people. CPU also arranged for the participation of over 60 experts in the 4th National Chinese Medicine Resource Survey in Zhenping, and established an online platform for publishing information on medicinal herbs.

Specialties branding support. CPU has set aside an annual 500,000 RMB budget for analyzing and characterizing medicinal herbs produced in Zhenping. The university helped secure ‘National Geographical Indication Product’ status for Zhenping-grown coptis chinensis and attracted investment by the Yangtze River Pharmaceutical Group by establishing a base for cultivating coptis chinensis in Zhenping. It also helped a local pharmaceutical business obtain funding of 5 million RMB from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to build its own medicinal herbs production center.

Match-making service. CPU helped secure long-term contracts from over ten well-known pharmaceutical companies for procuring medicinal herbs grown in Zhenping. When it reaches it full productivity, Ankang Puxin is expected to produce 1.5 billion packets of herbal medicine granules, generating an estimated revenue of 1.2 billion RMB and providing jobs for 800 households.