Chongming water secret to high-quality crops, produce
Water is believed the secret to the bumper harvest of high-quality agricultural products in Chongming.
The quality of water in the district maintains the same standard as the water quality of the Dongfeng Xisha Reservoir and Qingcaosha Reservoir – the major drinking water sources for Shanghai residents.
Since 2007, Chongming has initiated an industrial structure adjustment program in accordance with the requirements of its ecological island construction and the city's industrial structure adjustment.
After over 10 years of effort, nearly 300 projects with outdated production capacity have been shut down or relocated, including industries such as textile, printing and dyeing, and paper making, which are worried to cause pollution to the water environment.
Through the unremitting water environment improvement project, Chongming's surface water quality compliance rate has reached 100 percent, and agricultural production continues to benefit.
Mitten crab is one of the most renowned local aquatic products.
Chongming crab is often hailed by gourmands for its attractive aroma and sweet taste.
Wang Chenghui, a professor with Shanghai Ocean University, attributes Chongming's location at the mouth of the Yangtze River to this special flavor. The water quality here, where the fresh water and salty water meets, is rich in nutrients, Wang says.
Although Chongming has a smaller water area and limited production capacity compared with nearby crab-breeding areas in Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, it can improve its crab quality to increase its popularity and value, Wang adds.
Like the crab, high-quality rice is another signature produce of the district. In 2017, Chongming Rice, free from use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, won the silver medal for its high quality in Shanghai.
The allocation of farming area for green food within the district has reached 92 percent.
At the Jiangfan Fruit and Vegetable Professional Cooperative in Chongming's Miaozhen Town, the model of "rice, fish and crayfish" has been ongoing for many years.
By raising fish, crayfish and other organisms in rice fields, weeds and pests can be minimized without the use of pesticides.
In the nutritious water, fish and crayfish are well fed while rice produces a good yield, as well as an increased market value.
According to Huang Guochao, head of the cooperative, the income per hectare on the farm is several times that of conventional rice planting.