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Creative crops bring in the bucks for farmers

By CAO YINGYING | (China Daily Global) | Updated : 2020-10-29

Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, is implementing integrated development that includes combining its rich agricultural industry with tourism in order to create high-quality development.

One area of paddy fields in the city has taken an innovative approach.Tourist wander around crops that have been shaped and trimmed into creative designs including Nezha from the blockbuster animated film of the same name, and Mr Bean.

The Paddy Art Dream Park covers 2,000 hectares. It not only features the unique designs which bring in tourism income, but also produces 100,000 metric tons of rice every year.

The park attracts 300,000 tourists per year and creates jobs for more than 200 people.

In 2019, its income of 5 million yuan ($748,280) benefited more than 2,000 farmers across 40 villages.

This agricultural tourism complex has become an example of how to raise farmers' incomes and echoes the national strategy of rural revitalization, according to the local government.

Park is a part of the greater Xibo Longdi Creative Agricultural Park in Shenbei New District's Xinglongtai Xibo ethnic town, which was listed as a national 3A tourist attraction in 2018.

The town is home to the ancestral residences of the Xibo ethnic group.The locals use the cultural symbols of the Xibo ethnic group and integrate them with agricultural products to create a unique selling point in the market.

Opened in 2014, the park demonstrates Xibo culture integrated with the cultivation of rice paddies, rice processing and creative tourism,and has created a unique brand in the market.

The local culture, as well as the giant designs in the crops, plays an important role in attracting tourists to the park.

In addition to appreciating the paddy arts, tourists can go boating or river rafting, practice archery and take photos.

A local surnamed Zhang said the park is suitable for young and old alike and is fun for the whole family.

The farmland complex at the park represents a new model of agricultural development in the new era, that helps to promote the sustainable growth of the rural agricultural economy, local officials said, adding combining tourism and leisure has achieved innovative development.

Li Hongbiao, a researcher at the China Academy of Northeast Revitalization, said developing agricultural tourism is of great significance to raising farmers' incomes and promoting sustained and healthy rural economic growth.

Agricultural tourism, represented by the Paddy Art Dream Park, is a new growth point for rural economy in the future, Li added.

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The design of a steam train plows through Paddy Art Dream Park in Shenyang. CHINA DAILY

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