Fewer chemicals, being more green is the way to go for city's agriculture

Shanghai aims to promote urban agriculture in an up-to-date and green way. A new brand of locally grown early rice will be available from Friday. 

Farms failing to meet environmental requirements will be closed and fewer chemicals will be used in Shanghai's agricultural production.

These are part of the city's endeavors to promote the construction of a green and modern urban agriculture.

Quality is the name of the game. 

“Compared with production, Shanghai’s agricultural development is more about its ecological function, and compared with quantity, we should focus more on quality,” Zhang Guokun, director of the city’s agricultural commission, said on Wednesday. 

“Agriculture accounts for only about 0.39 percent of the city’s GDP,” Zhang said, adding that the city’s farmland is small and natural resources for agriculture is relatively limited.

Zhang said the authority aims to decrease the usage of farm chemicals such as fertilizer in agricultural production, shut down farms that could not meet environmental protection requirements, recycle more agricultural waste, improve the environmental conditions of local rivers and soil along with the agricultural development and to make good damaged environmental land. 

The authority will also integrate agriculture with secondary and tertiary industries, he added, such as building up more local agricultural brands and integrating with rural tourism to produce an industry chain with more added value.

For example, a new brand of locally grown early rice will be available from Friday to give local residents the first taste of this year's yielding and to compete with rice grown in northern China. The northern-grown rice is usually on the market from the end of October.

“If our rice was too late on the market, we might fall behind and many residents might go for non-local produced rice,” Lu Ming, an official with the authority said. 

The rice from seven selected producers will be packaged under the same brand called “Shanghai New Rice,” which will be available at 43 Lianhua supermarkets and 10 hypermarkets.

Lu added the authority aims to build up the brand of Shanghai-grown early rice in three years and expand the marketing experiences learnt from the brand-building to other locally grown agricultural products like fruit and vegetables.

An exhibition featuring rural tourism and leisure agriculture in the Yangtze River area will be held at Shanghai Agricultural Exhibition Hall from Friday to Monday.

A total of 279 companies, including farms and scenic spots in countryside in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, will  promote rural tourism.

Special Reports