|Guangdong Province plans to build 100 province-level|
"modern agriculture industry parks", including this ambitious design.
|Zhejiang Province has built two agricultural industry parks near Ningbo. |
The one in Cixi City was designated as one of the first 20 national-level parks.
China has been building futuristic agricultural facilities since the 1980s, and directives to begin the latest "agriculture industry park" program were included in the 2017 and 2018 No. 1 Documents. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued a circular in May this year giving guidance to local authorities about the program to build agriculture industry parks and instructions to apply for the national list. Government support can be in the form of monetary awards, "financial services," land, personnel support, and electricity and water services, according to the circular.
Last year, Zhejiang Province said it began its modern agriculture park in Zhuji City in 2010 with cumulative investment by the local government of 2 billion yuan ($285 million). Zhejiang's Cixi park has a salt-tolerant rice production base, a 3600-hectare vegetable export base, a large dairy farm, and grapes that have been awarded a "geographic indication." The Cixi park includes a 3-million-bird egg production project operated by Thailand's CP Group, said to be one of the largest egg farms in China. It claims to have a 5000-head dairy farm operated by 3 workers and 200 hectares of pasture.
Agriculture industry parks are based on a "factory concept" (工厂化理念) that combines scaled-up farming, "intelligent" production methods, and modern logistics. Descriptions of the parks feature diagrams showing the park's layout, photos of large fields and tractors, drones, giant greenhouses, automated processing facilities, paved roads, irrigation and power, "green" production (low-pesticide use, utilization of livestock waste for energy and organic fertilizer), and logistics facilities.
Earlier this year Guangdong Province announced its first batch of 15 provincial modern agriculture industry parks to create "internationally competitive" agriculture. The Guangdong parks receive 50 million yuan of construction aid for each one. Guangdong aims to have 100 parks by 2020.