China’s city dwellers rent farmland to grow food

World Today

China’s Food Safety Publicity Week has brought to light some of the public’s concerns — and revealed an interesting new trend.

Many city dwellers have started renting farmland in the countryside to grow their own food. CCTV’s Wu Guoxiu reports from Shunyi, an administrative district of Beijing located outside of the city proper.

China: City dwellers rent farmland to grow food

During China's Food Safety Publicity Week, we've been taking a look at the public's concerns. One trend is that city dwellers are renting farmland to grow their own food. Wu Guoxiu takes us one family's farm outside Beijing.

Wen Zhai, a technology company owner, has a second job on the weekends. He works the land on a farm in Shunyi. And most often, he brings friends.

“I grow some vegetables we often eat, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, cabbages and also fruits like apples, peaches, and watermelons. I trust what we grow ourselves. We don’t use any pesticides or chemical fertilizer. We only spread manure in the field to fertilize it.” Wen says.

The large farm is not just for growing food. Wen also grows trees.

He pays 50,000 yuan (about $8,000) a year to rent the land, which measures more than 3 hectares (30,000 sq. meters) The farmer renting the land to Wen says that the steady income is helpful, and he sees a market for such rentals.

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The idea of working on a farm with family is becoming more and more acceptable to city dwellers in China. For them, beyond the food and work, there is also fun and leisure to the work.

“I’m planning to rent a farm too. Actually many of my colleagues and friends have already begun renting. We can visit each other’s farms, and exchange fruits. We’re really happy about this.” said Guo Jinlu, a book editor.

With one month to go, these city farmers are looking forward to a good harvest.

Further information:

2014 China Food Safety Publicity Week: