The first recorded incidence of private farming in post-Mao China occurred in Pengxi county of Sichuan province, in a village called “Nine Dragon Hill.” This village was one of the poorest in Qunli Commune, widely known in the region as a “village of beggars.” One evening in September 1976, Deng Tianyuan, the Party secretary of the commune, summoned a small group of cadres to discuss the problem of agricultural production. After a long and heated debate, they agreed to try private farming as a solution to the managerial and incentive problems that had dogged collective farming. Aware of the political risk, they decided to allocate only marginal land to households in two production teams, while keeping collective farming intact elsewhere. That year, the output of the marginal but privately cultivated land was three times higher than that of the collectively cultivated fertile land. The next year, more land was privatized in more production teams.