May 8, 2018 By Joseph S. Margai in Beijing, China
The sixth Beijing Agriculture Carnival, which started on 17 March and will end on 13 May this year, has been attracting one million two hundred (1.2m) tourists daily from across China and other countries.
The agricultural carnival, which features 200 “creative hands-on” farming activities and also 300 exhibitors that demonstrate the best of China’s local farm industry, also attracted agricultural products from 12 countries which fall within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) programme.
Liu ZhengXiong, Deputy Director, Beijing Agricultural Carnival Organising Committee, told journalists at the centre on Monday that the carnival also features 180 horticultural displays, including a small landscaping model of a strawberry town, representing the fruit for which Changping district in Beijing is well-known.
“This annual carnival also features advanced agricultural technologies that include techniques to cultivate seeds in an outer space. There are clothing, handicrafts, and furniture available for visitors to purchase during this carnival,” he said.
Liu said the carnival came into existence in 2013 with the aim of showcasing agricultural products to local residents, domestic and oversea visitors.
He revealed that the government spent approximately 80 million RMB (over 12 million United States Dollars) to organise this year’s carnival, adding that the aim was actually not for profit-making but to showcase agricultural products to all and sundry.
“We took about six months to prepare for this carnival and it is opened to the public for only two months. This carnival has been used by the Chinese government to develop rural tourism,” he said.
He noted that during preparations of the site for the carnival, they employed 600 workers, but that figure has now been downsized.
“To help facilitate the movement of commuters to the north suburb-situated expo hall, we arranged for four double-decker buses to deliver visitors directly from the subway stations. The busses always depart Tiantongyuan North Station (terminal station of Line 5) and require 40 minutes to make the 14-kilometer trip with each fare costing RMB 5 (RMB 3 with transport card),” he said.
Similarly, a visit to the Beijing Tian’an Agricultural Development Co., Ltd., was conducted and journalists were briefed at the company by the Technical Director and Deputy Director of Research and Development, Li Changchun, about the manner in which they cultivate, harvest and package vegetables and fruits.
“Our company cultivates strawberry, pawpaw, banana, pepper, lemon, and flowers. We use simple technology but highly capital intensive to do such cultivation,” he said.