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Program plants a seed of agricultural interest in urban areas

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-12 08:24
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Verdant rice paddies looked all the more vibrant under the blistering summer sun. For Luo Deru, owner of the fields in Southwest China's Guizhou province, a bumper harvest was already in sight.

The 59-year-old farmer's expectation for the upcoming autumn was boosted by a "farmland adoption "program that is expected to bring his family more income.

Launched in early June in the provincial capital Guiyang, the program invited urbanites to "adopt" a piece of farmland in Wayao village on the outskirts of the city to give them a taste of farming life, as well as food grown by themselves.

After signing a contract with an adopter, Luo rented out 1 mu (0.07 hectares) of red rice fields. After the harvest, the adopter will purchase the rice from the rented field at a price of 20 yuan ($2.96) per kilogram.

"Red rice is not easy to sell. In the past, most of the harvest was consumed by my own family," says Luo.

Wayao village has a registered population of around 600. One-third of them have become migrant workers in cities, leaving the village with many elderly people and children.

Local officials tried several ways to increase people's income, such as developing vegetable plantations, a few years ago. However, the community was not able to market itself well.

"The program offered us solid market channels. Farmers are now more motivated," says Wang Zhenghua, Party secretary of Wayao village.

According to Wang, 28 households in the village have joined the program so far, with the rented farmland area totaling about four hectares.

As written in the adoption contracts, adopters, in the form of either individuals, families or groups, can experience farming activities, such as sowing, fertilizing, watering and harvesting the adopted field, while the "landlords "provide guidance and farming necessities, such as organic fertilizer and agricultural machinery.

"We strictly follow a standardized, pollution-free way of planting to ensure the quality of our agricultural products," says Wang.

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