Chongqing- On September 23, Chongqing 2021 Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival “Enjoy the Cool Shade beneath Rice Plants” was opened in Dazu, Chongqing.
Despite the special agricultural products exhibition and sales outlets that were arranged to facilitate the purchase of residents and tourists, the 2-meter-high ‘Giant Rice’ harvest attracted attention and featured the festival in an innovative way. After the successful cultivation in July, a bumper harvest came to the experimental field of the China National Hybrid Rice R&D Center-Chongqing Sub center in September. Four hundred ninety-five kilograms of grains were harvested in a 1.43 mu giant rice field(about 952 square meters). It was out of expectation of Chen Yangpu, the Deputy Director of the Chongqing Sub Center. He introduced that the flowering period of the rice was affected by the extreme weather conditions during the summer this year, so the outputs were not as good as they were expected. But the strength of resistance to diseases and collapse is strong enough for the giant rice to be grown. This has given the central confidence in the following year’s cultivation and passes the national test.
With sturdy, tall rice stalks and straight leaves, the giant rice can reach high photosynthetic efficiency. As a result, the number of effective tillers can reach 40 on average, each producing about 500 grains maximum. Moreover, it’s also strong to diseases, lodging, flooding, and salt-alkali soil. It can also bring sufficient nutrients to the plants nearby and provide shade and shelter for aquatic and mammals. The whole “rice-fish-symbiosis” system could cool down the temperature and allow the farmers to raise fish, shrimp, and crawfish to increase income in limited fields. According to Luo Zhiqiang, a researcher of the center, an area of 1 mu(about 666 square meters) giant rice field could raise 300-500 kilograms of crawfish, which will bring 3000-6000 yuan(about 500-1000 USD) for a farmer.
In one month, the harvest of the giant rice has attracted more than 100,000 tourists to come to the Longping Colorful Rice Field in Dazu. According to Chen Yangpu, dozens of counties and districts of Chongqing were reaching out for the giant rice seeds, and press from Japan were also reporting the news of giant rice. “Due to the epidemic from 2020 to 2021, most of the main rice producer countries’ rice outputs were decreased, including Brazil, the U.S, India, and Australia. There are 1.5 billion people facing food shortage problems in the world.” Chen Yangpu said. He claimed that the harvest of the giant rice is a step forward for China’s food security. Next year, the center will expand the cultivation area of the giant rice to 2000 mu(about 133 million square meters), and more “rice-fish symbiosis” projects will be implemented.
The parent-child orienteering competition, field camping, and parent-child BBQ activities will be organized during the festival. Visitors can stroll through colorful rice fields, appreciate giant rice, listen to frogs and smell the fragrance of rice with family members so as to enjoy themselves in the countryside. At the same time, such events as farmers’ fun sports games, fish-catching in paddy fields, and public outreach for the law on the promotion of rural vitalization will be held one after another.
The data and achievements the harvest festival celebrates show that Dazu agriculture has entered a new stage of development. So far, the Dazu district has built high-quality grain and oil bases of about 36,667 hectares, special fruit and vegetable bases of approximately 34,000 hectares, ecological breeding bases of about 4,667 hectares, and all-season aroma bases of about 400 hectares. Rural residents’ per capita disposable income increased to 19,415 yuan (approximately 1,294.3 U.S. dollars) in 2020 from 13,718 yuan at the end of 2016, an average annual increase of 9%. The per capita disposable income ratio of urban and rural residents was 1.88:1, better than Chongqing and China. The added value of agriculture increased to 6.06 billion yuan in 2020 from 4.49 billion yuan in 2016, with an average annual growth of 4.25%.
Check out iChongqing’s live stream to witness the harvest of the ‘giant rice’ in Dazu.
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