China takes a world-leading position in agricultural heritage work, which can help promote rural construction and offer a model for other developing countries, experts said on Thursday.
The remarks were made during the fifth Chinese Global Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) work meeting held on Thursday along the Ar Horqin Banner, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
With its special grassland nomadic system, Ar Horqin is now ramping up efforts to be listed within the GIAHS. China now has a total of 15 GIAHS, the most in the world.
Four Chinese farmlands - namely rice terraces in southern China, mulberry farms in East China's Shandong Province, fish ponds in East China's Zhejiang Province and animal farms in Northwest China's Gansu Province - were listed on the GIAHS in April by the United Nations.
"Of all the eight countries this year that collectively established 14 heritage systems, most of them received agricultural heritage training in China, and many of them learned from our heritage work. Therefore, they can be considered 'apprentices' of China," Luo Ming, deputy director of the Center for International Cooperation Service at the Ministry of Agriculture, said at the meeting.
Wang Zhenfeng, a researcher at the local governmental agriculture department of Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province, told the Global Times that proper protection of agricultural heritage could also drive rural development and the local economy.
"Since getting listed on the GIAHS in 2014, Fuzhou's Jasmine tea brand has become globally famous, generating high profit and further benefiting local Jasmine farmers," Wang said.
The city's Jasmine tea brand was valued at 15.91 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) by the China Council for Brand Development in 2018, he said, adding that many tea producers from countries such as Sri Lanka have flown to Fuzhou to learn from its successful Jasmine industry.
Min Qingwen, a researcher at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, said that China is also sharing its successes with other countries, especially with those along the Belt and Road initiative routes. "Our concepts and our work in heritage protection and development would of course be extremely valuable to them." (Global Times)