Rural pastoral complex in Bazhong brings together young and old alike

By Wei Lynn Tang| CGTN | Updated: Mar 14,2021
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In China's southwestern city of Bazhong, a comprehensive rural pastoral complex is still gaining traction among locals since it opened for business in May 2020. 

Outdoor entertainment rides accessible for children and adults alike, with the elderly happily tagging along, bonding with their grand and even great-grandchildren. 

Jiang Honghui, general manager of Bazhong Tianyi Fuxi Agricultural Technology, the company behind this complex, said expectations have been met when it comes to tourist flow and revenue targets.

At its peak, 12,000 people flock to the complex per day. It charges an entry fee of over 20 yuan (just over $3), but Jiang said the complex's bigger revenue sources come from additional pay-per-ride charges and its restaurant businesses.

"In the first phase of our development, we covered food, accommodation, travel and play," said Jiang.

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A rural pastoral complex in Bazhong City, Sichuan Province is filling a gap in the market by offering locals a chance to have fun outdoors with family and friends. [Photo/CGTN]

The first phase of development saw an investment of 110 million yuan out of a total estimated 248 million yuan for all three phases.

"And 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," he explained.

"This way, our farmers can earn an income from three sources: leasing their land, mentoring fees and daily management fees for their garden."

Located 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.

Jiang said children today do not have a comprehensive enough grasp of agricultural knowledge. "To put it simply, they are unable to distinguish one grain from another," he said.

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This complex has plans to expand into educating urban families on growing their own garden and plants here in its next phase of development. [Photo/CGTN]

"We want them (the children) to experience the hard work behind growing the food we eat and the happiness that comes from growing your own plants," he said.

"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?"

According to Wang Simiao, party secretary of Sushan Village in Bazhong City, over 100 local farmers work at this complex, with each earning 25,000 yuan a year.

Wang said this income does not yet include rental income from the transfer of their land.

While the site has brought spill-over benefits such as tourism to the village, Wang said the management of the complex needs to be improved.

"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."