China's Rural Vitalization: Pastoral complex in southwestern Bazhong woos people of all ages, boosts income of locals

CGTN | Updated: Mar 12,2021
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China's rural vitalization plan is all about promoting agricultural development while increasing the income of people living outside the urban centers. Our reporter Wei Lynn Tang checks out how one integrated pastoral complex in China's Southwest is doing just that. 

The vibe when you first step foot into this place is pretty amazing.

In China's southwestern city of Bazhong, this rural pastoral complex has given life to people living in and beyond the area.

Entertainment rides that know no age boundaries with both young and even the old putting my sense of adventure to shame!

"I bring my five year old daughter here almost every month and we often have a good time! We live just nearby so it's convenient. And we like how this place is huge, with so many games."

"I'm now old, and being able to come out to walk around places with good conditions like these makes me happy."

WEI LYNN TANG Bazhong City, Sichuan Province "Where we are now is just about a four hour drive from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. This complex was built from the blocks of China's rural revitalization strategy. And being here, you really get to have fun while soaking up the 'rustic' feel of the countryside."

But it's not all fun and games.

The man behind this integrated complex has plans to expand beyond just food, accommodation, travel, and play.

JIANG HONGHUI General Manager, Bazhong Tianyi Fuxi Agricultural Technology "In our second phase of development, we plan to create what's known as 'entrepreneurial agriculture'. We plan to rent our land to families living in cities, and let our farmers be their teachers - guiding them on how to grow their land here. This way, our farmers can earn income from three sources: leasing their land, mentoring fees, and daily management fees for their garden."

Jiang says children today do not have enough agricultural knowledge.

JIANG HONGHUI General Manager, Bazhong Tianyi Fuxi Agricultural Technology "We want them to experience the hard work behind growing the food we eat, and the happiness that comes from growing your own plants. For example, where does this wild herb come from? And what can we do with it? More importantly, we want to encourage children to think creatively: what do they think they can do with these wild herbs?"

This complex opened for business in May 2020. And Jiang says expectations have been met when it comes to hitting revenue targets.

Thousands of people flock here everyday. You pay an entry ticket of just over three US dollars, and additional pay-per-ride charges.

(While the site has also brought spill over benefits to the village it's located in, local officials say the management of the complex needs to be improved.)

WANG SIMIAO Village Party secretary, Sushan, Sichuan "But as the number of tourists increase, safety could be an issue. Child safety protection measures here need to be strengthened. Meanwhile, our village is also sending more professional teams to patrol the mountains to prevent forest fires."

Sichuan is known around China for its laidback way of life, so capping a day out with one of the province's specialities, hotpot is a must.

And who doesn't like to be wooed by an outdoor musical performance?

The size of the crowd here says it all. The key now is to sustain the hype and momentum.