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Category — China

China’s multi-story hog hotels elevate industrial farms to new levels

Guangxi Yangxiang’s high-rise pig farm buildings are seen at Yaji Mountain Forest Park in Guangxi province, China March 19, 2018. Picture taken March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Suen

On Yaji Mountain in southern China, they are checking in the sows a thousand head per floor in high-rise “hog hotels”.

By Dominique Patton
May 10, 2018


“There are big advantages to a high-rise building,” said Xu Jiajing, manager of Yangxiang’s mountain-top farm.

“It saves energy and resources. The land area is not that much but you can raise a lot of pigs.”

Companies like Yangxiang are pumping more money into the buildings – about 30 percent more than on single-story modern farms – even as hog prices in China hold at an eight-year low.

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May 15, 2018   No Comments

Across China: College graduate leaves city firm for farm

Thirty-three-year-old Yan is a trailblazer in Chinese agriculture and opened her farm, Shared Harvest, in 2012 [Katrina Yu/Al Jazeera]

His home province of Anhui registered 77,000 family farms in 2017. Of the 1,298 model family farms selected by the provincial agricultural bureau, more than 170 have been set up by college graduates returning to their hometowns.

Editor: Mu Xuequan


Like many parents in rural China, the senior Lin considered college education an opportunity for his boy to break away from laborious physical work, and for the family to have something to be proud of.

Yet the son beat his father’s expectations again by pursuing a career in farming in his hometown.

He started a family farm in his village. By persuading villagers to lease their unused plots of land, Lin amassed 900 Mu (60 hectares), on which he used agricultural machinery to boost efficiency.

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May 7, 2018   Comments Off on Across China: College graduate leaves city firm for farm

China: Shanghai’s Suburban Farm on Chongming Island

One of Shen Hong’s farms, located in Xianqiao Town on Chongming Island, presents a bucolic scene of man and nature existing in harmony.

“Urban agriculture, like farming in suburban areas in big cities like Shanghai, is different from the traditional way of farming,” says Huang, an urban planner for more than 20 years. “It is aimed not only at fulfilling the need for food production, but also at providing local residents and urban consumers with a deeper understanding of how our daily lives relate to nature.”

By Yao Minji
Apr 11, 2018


Like many modern farms in suburban Shanghai, Huang hosts workshops that are especially popular among families with children. Visitors can see how crops are grown organically and come to understand how somewhat higher costs of food are worth the knowledge that what we eat is safe and nutritious.

“The idea of sustainable farming depends heavily on consumers becoming more eco-minded,” Shen says. “We have forgotten the nature of agriculture. It is to supply nutrition and make you healthy. But consumers are typically driven by taste and price. For many years, most consumers have placed a higher priority on taste and low price than on quality and nutrition.”

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April 16, 2018   Comments Off on China: Shanghai’s Suburban Farm on Chongming Island

China: Beijing closes 321 pig farms in 2017

The city has also chosen more than 20 pig farms to promote the use of waste-processing and water-saving technologies.

Editor: Liangyu

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) — Beijing shut down 321 pig farms last year to clean the environment and save water.

The Survey Office of the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing Sunday said the city produced 2.42 million hogs for slaughter in 2017, down 12.1 percent year on year.

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April 14, 2018   Comments Off on China: Beijing closes 321 pig farms in 2017

China: Green thumbs turn veggie patches into ‘edible gardens’

The vegetable garden at Meilong Sancun where plants were placed in dozens of “square foot gardens”.

A one-time garbage disposal area at the Knowledge and Innovation Community in Yangpu District was the site of happy reapers last autumn after the strip of land between two housing complexes was turned into a 2,000 square-meter vegetable garden.

By Chen Huizhi
Shanghai Daily
Jan 22, 2018


“When you no longer see red dragonflies in the pond of fleur-de-lis, you start to lament that summer is gone,” Wei said of the changing seasons that a garden reflects.

She and her team have created about 30 “edible gardens” like this one around Shanghai, mostly in residential communities.

More than just a boost to the environment, the gardens provide an elixir of community spirit.

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January 26, 2018   Comments Off on China: Green thumbs turn veggie patches into ‘edible gardens’

China: Welcome to the agrihood: golf courses out, urban farms in, as upscale developers invite buyers to grow fruit and vegetables

An organic farm in Hong Kong. Around the world, developers are betting buyers of luxury homes want to get their hands dirty growing food. Photo: K Y. Cheng

Developers from Suzhou, China, to Palm Springs, California are betting that giving homeowners the opportunity to practise healthy living by growing ‘clean food’ – on vines and in olive groves and garden plots – will be attractive

By Kavita Daswani
South China Morning Post
Jan 11, 2018


Agrihoods – gardens where fruit and vegetables grow that are shared by a neighbourhood or community – are a nascent trend in global real estate development, but one that is on the rise. Partly, it’s an outgrowth of the trend in farm-to-table dining, partly a hunch that residents of a building or neighbourhood have an incipient desire to come together to tend urban gardens and share what they grow.

It’s already happening in Hong Kong’s backyard.

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January 17, 2018   Comments Off on China: Welcome to the agrihood: golf courses out, urban farms in, as upscale developers invite buyers to grow fruit and vegetables

China: Shanghai’s Edible Rooftops

Sky Farm in Shanghai uses rooftop agriculture to help urban residents experience nature up close. By Daniel Holmes and Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone.

With approximately 10 billion square meters of exposed roof space across Chinese cities as of September 2011, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the concept has plenty of capacity to grow.

By Liang Chenyu
The Sixth Tone
Oct 24, 2017
(Must see. Mike)


Atop Red Star Macalline Group’s headquarters sits a rooftop farm called Yiyun, which translates as “leaning on the clouds.” Chilies, white gourd, eggplant, chives, and other vegetables flourish across the 4,600-square-meter garden cultivated by the company, which is China’s largest national furniture retailer. The harvested produce is used in the staff cafeteria, and the farm also provides thermal insulation for the building’s top floor, which houses expensive rosewood furniture.

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October 24, 2017   Comments Off on China: Shanghai’s Edible Rooftops

China: Shanghai’s first urban farm at an open community

Residents at Anshan No.4 Village place green plants in the community farm Baicaoyuan Garden. — Mao Xinhui

Children see the constant change of the fruits and vegetables everyday which is not available elsewhere,” Liu added.

By Huang Jianjian and Li Xinran
Shanghai Daily
June 13, 2017


A small piece of farmland hiding on a rooftop, at a residential quarter or surrounded by tall buildings, is not only for urbanites to retain their nostalgia but also an organic way to open and comfort people’s minds.

It varies from time to time whether rice paddy, vegetables, fragrant herbs are the best choice to be planted in the soil of downtown. A mini farm featuring a pond, blue iris and a variety of aquatic plants was displayed in Yangpu, during a recent urban farm exhibition. A small herbal garden with chamomile, mint and basil was also exhibited during the event at the Knowledge & Innovation Community Garden.

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June 17, 2017   Comments Off on China: Shanghai’s first urban farm at an open community

‘Plant Factories’ Churn Out Clean Food in China’s Dirty Cities

A researcher transplants rice seedlings in a greenhouse of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Researchers build urban farms, crop labs to combat contamination

Reporting by Christina Larson and Lulu Yilun Chen, assisted by Vicky Feng
Bloomberg News
May 25, 2017
(Must see. Mike)


Yang Qichang walks through his “plant factory” atop the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, inspecting trays of tomato vines that may help farmers slip the stranglehold that toxins have on China’s food supply.

The containers are stacked like bunk beds, with each vine wrapped in red and blue LED lights that evoke tiny Christmas trees. Yang is testing which parts of the visible-light spectrum are optimal for photosynthesis and plant growth while using minimal energy.

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June 3, 2017   Comments Off on ‘Plant Factories’ Churn Out Clean Food in China’s Dirty Cities

Sasaki Unveils Design for Sunqiao, a 100-Hectare Urban Farming District in Shanghai

An aquaponics showcase, and festival market signal an attempt to educate generations of children about where their food comes from.

By Niall Patrick Walsh
Arch Daily
Apr 2, 2017


With nearly 24 million inhabitants to feed and a decline in the availability and quality of agricultural land, the Chinese megacity of Shanghai is set to realize the Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District, a 100-hectare masterplan designed by US-based firm Sasaki Associates. Situated between Shanghai’s main international airport and the city center, Sunqiao will introduce large-scale vertical farming to the city of soaring skyscrapers. While primarily responding to the growing agricultural demand in the region, Sasaki’s vision goes further, using urban farming as a dynamic living laboratory for innovation, interaction, and education.

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April 9, 2017   Comments Off on Sasaki Unveils Design for Sunqiao, a 100-Hectare Urban Farming District in Shanghai

Rooftop hydroponic systems in cities produce vegetables that are cheaper and healthier than rural farms

Putting roots down on rooftops. (Reuters/Vincent Kessler)

After calculating the cost of building the screenhouse and tanks, rent, labor, utilities, seeds, fertilizer, and other equipment, the team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences South China Botanical Garden and the Zhong Kai University of Agriculture and Engineering found that six out of the seven vegetables were cheaper to produce than to purchase at a local store.

By Kelsey Lindsey
Dec 14


On a 1,600-square-foot-rooftop in Guangzhou, China, 14 hydroponic tanks produce hundreds of pounds of vegetables a year, with a potential profit of over $6,000 annually—almost twice the 2015 annual minimum wage in the city, which has one of the highest monthly minimum wages in the country. The hydroponic tanks are part of study that shows residents and developers in Guangzhou that their rooftop space might be worth some green.

A paper published this past July the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development reports that growing leafy greens in rooftop hydroponic systems can not only produce a steady supply of vegetables—it can also be cheaper than buying store-bought alternatives.

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December 15, 2016   Comments Off on Rooftop hydroponic systems in cities produce vegetables that are cheaper and healthier than rural farms

China’s Chengdu farm capitalises on taking rich families back to their roots

Rick pickings: Sunshine Organic Farm

For the founders of the Sunshine Organic Farm, a working farm and weekend retreat on the city’s south-western outskirts, Chengdu residents’ frustration with urban life presents an opportunity.

By Christian Shepherd
Aug. 18, 2016


Chengdu’s lifestyle is often sold as a relaxed contrast to the crush of China’s east-coast metropolises. Residents like to take it easy. Sleepy tea-houses line the twin rivers that snake through the city and the clack of mah-jong game tiles echoes in back alleys till the early morning.

But as the south-western city grows, the gentle pace of life is under pressure. Once-quiet streets are clogged with traffic. Chengdu is now the most congested city in China and the ninth most congested in the world, according to a recent report by satnav company TomTom. Its once vaunted clean air is also under threat, with the city doing only slightly better than smoggy Beijing in a 2014 air quality ranking of Chinese cities by Greenpeace.

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August 25, 2016   Comments Off on China’s Chengdu farm capitalises on taking rich families back to their roots

Rooftop farming arrives in Chengdu, China

(Must see. Mike)

“The farm is actually a by-product of the shopping mall here. With proper design and investment, we transformed this rooftop into something useful and provided the public with a free place to learn the science of planting and experience agricultural production,” said rooftop farmer Liu Bo.
July 21, 2016


“It surprised me when I stepped onto this rooftop. They have all kinds of vegetables and fruit. And there are species that I don’t know. It’s rare to see such things in big cities,” said Chengdu resident Tang Yan.

Mr. Liu is one of the founders of this city farm. For the past eight years, he has been running a vast rural farm in the suburbs of the city.

“Young people know very little about agricultural production, especially children. They have no idea about the exact procedures of how to plant vegetables and rice. So I came up with the idea of passing on Chinese agricultural traditions to the younger generation, and those living in cities,” said rooftop farmer Liu Bo.

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July 21, 2016   Comments Off on Rooftop farming arrives in Chengdu, China

China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: “Transplant” 100 Million Farmers Into Its Cities


Starting next year, China will roll out policy to transform 100 million farmers into registered urban residents

By Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
Dec 24, 2015


Beijing is hoping to “transplant” 100 million farmers into registered urban residents, who no longer being migrant workers, will rush to buy real estate in the process soaking up some of the millions of vacant square meters of excess capacity real estate. At least that’s how the thinking goes: “attendees of the meeting agreed that rural residents that move to urban areas should be allowed to register as residents, which would encourage them to buy homes in the city. Property developers have been advised to reduce home prices, according to the statement.”

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December 29, 2015   Comments Off on China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: “Transplant” 100 Million Farmers Into Its Cities

Rusted-out Shenzhen factory reborn as a thriving urban farm

Eye-pleasing plots of vegetables growing on the reclaimed site. Photo by Thomas Chung.Click on image for larger file.

Architect Thomas Chung’s award-winning green growing space in Shenzhen was inspired by Hong Kong’s Central district rooftops

By Peta Tomlinson
South China Morning Post
Oct 13, 2015


The project’s design inspiration came partly from an emerging global trend whereby city dwellers are reconnecting with the hands-on experience of growing crops as a means of offering a more secure, accessible food supply.

“Besides pointing to an attitude and lifestyle change, it’s about experimenting with what can be done with hitherto untapped land resources, such as on rooftops, terraces and balconies, inside parks and under flyovers,” Chung said.

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October 22, 2015   Comments Off on Rusted-out Shenzhen factory reborn as a thriving urban farm