HAIKOU, China, Dec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Forest giants line the edges of rolling fields alive with the sound of insects and birds. A gurgling stream drives a waterwheel. This pastoral scene harking back to ancient times is now being reintroduced in new and interesting ways across China.
In 2017, China’s southern island province of Hainan, with its advantages on tropical agricultural resources and rural ecological environment, was the first place in the country to propose the development of "shared farms", with the aim of boosting the shared prosperity of rural areas and farmers.
As a part of China’s modern "sharing economy", shared farms promote the use of fallow fields. This new approach to agriculture is driving deeper integration of several industries, including agriculture, tourism, education, culture, health care, and scientific research.
The development of shared farms has been a boon for locals. Placing their fallow land and vacant houses under unified management, they have been able to increase their income via salaried work while still being able to sell their homegrown agricultural products. This creates a solution which benefits the entire village economy.
Rewards have already been reaped by locals in Sanya’s Damao Village where the annual per capita income of farmers increased from CNY 8,620 in 2017 to CNY 21,500 in 2020 and Danzhou’s Youwen Village where it increased from CNY 13,000 in 2019 to CNY 21,000 in 2020.
In addition, shared farms give local products greater added value and provide enterprises a greater profit margin. By combining agriculture, culture and travel, these farms are able to develop more niche products through "tourism+" and "ecology+" business models.
Shared farms not only directly improve the lives of China’s rural populations, but also aid in the revival and preservation of local cultural heritage. For local governments, the cumulative benefits brought by shared farms are welcome.
With an increasing number of shared farms cropping up, the path towards China’s rural revitalization is becoming ever clearer.
As of November 2021, Hainan has seen the establishment of 200 shared farms. In 2020, the farms received over 2.2 million visitors, taking in CNY 850 million in direct operating income, with a profit of CNY 160 million.
On December 14-15, Sanya’s Damao Shared Farm hosted the 2021 Shared Farm Conference, drawing in experts, scholars and entrepreneurs working in rural development and agriculture. The conference discussed the use of high-quality shared farm development to boost the shared economic prosperity of Chinese farmers and rural areas.
Hainan’s exploratory work in developing shared farms over the past five years has demonstrated the viability of this development model as an important cornerstone of China’s future rural revitalization.