Area creates new paths to rural development

Photo 1GFarmers pick up plums at Pingtou village in the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture in Sichuan. [Photo/]

Photo 2GThe picturesque scene at Qingde town in Xiangcheng county in Sichuan. [Photo/]

Photo 3GJiuzhaigou Valley contains around 20 tourist sites and is known for its spectacular waterfalls, lush forest, serene plateau lakes and karst rock formations. [Photo/]

Chengdu in Sichuan province has made headway in its efforts to boost the development of its rural areas by promoting all-region tourism, upgrading the rural workforce and launching sharing platforms, according to the local government.

Duoyang Namu, director of the Chengdu Tourism Bureau, said rural tourism has emerged as a driving force behind the goal of creating a prosperous countryside.

China's first Farm Stay, a form of sightseeing and recreation that involves spending time in the countryside, was in Pixian county, Chengdu as early as 1986. Since then, various forms of rural tourist programs have sprung up, helping to improve local employment.

Chengdu, partnering with neighboring cities in Sichuan, has operated more than 30 high-quality touring routes, which have been one of its initiatives to upgrade its tourism industry.

Statistics show that the rural tourism in Chengdu has brought in 7.51 billion yuan ($1.07 billion) in the first quarter of this year alone, a 20 percent increase from the same period of last year.

Another facet that marks the city's progress in rural development is its new farmers.

Li Houqiang, Party secretary of the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences, said the new farmers are the backbone of the region's rural development in the long term.

In April, a total of 36 rural designers were recruited to work in Chengdu areas including Wenjiang, Pidu and Jianyang.

Another example is Taoyi village in Pujiang county, which has attracted more than 100 artists and "makers", a group of ingenious inventors, to strive for a better living environment.

"The new farmers have made a huge difference in upgrading our agricultural industry and they helped to create a new cultural industry in the area," noted Chen Qi, project director in the region.

Statistics show that from January to May, Sichuan has trained 22,900 technicians, 32,700 village officials and 24,000 new skillful farmers.

To cultivate more rural industries, Chengdu has also built seven sharing platforms to optimize resources and make the economy more market-oriented.

 One of those platforms is a land transaction platform, which serves as an open market for all bidders and maximizes the value of the land.

Another is an agricultural exhibition platform, which showcases Sichuan's modernized and forward-looking farming sector. It facilitates cooperation between Sichuan and other provinces in China regarding agricultural development. The rural financial and insurance platform is Chengdu's version of the country's internet plus policy.

The multi-functional Nongdaitong, a comprehensive financial platform, has formed partnerships with more than 250 financial institutions.