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GIAHS Pilot Site 1: Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture, Zhejiang

DATE:2013-07-17       SOURCE:MOA


Qingtian County is located in the southeast of Zhejiang Province and the lower reaches of Ou River. It is of subtropical monsoon climate with abundant rainfalls. Nearly 90% of the total area is covered by mountains and hills. Qingtian rice-fish farming can be dated back to 1,200 years ago when local residents began to raise fish in rice fields. It is recorded that during the Qing dynasty (1616-1911 A.D.) “Fish in field, red, black, and pied, etc. raised by natives in rice fields and dike ponds”. Now, Qingtian farmers still use the traditional methods to raise fish in paddy rice field. The local fish is an ornamental breed of carp, of high growth rate and resistance to diseases. It is known for its tender and delicious meat.


Qingtian rice-fish culture system is a typical mode of eco-farming, in which rice provides shade and organic matter for fish, in turn, fish removes the weed, loosens the soil, improves fertility, provides oxygen and devours pests. This eco-cycle system greatly reduces the dependence on external chemicals and increases system biodiversity. In the typical farmland ecosystem, rice and weeds are producers; fish, insects and all kinds of aquatic animals such as loach and eel are the consumers; while bacteria and fungi are the decomposers. Fish eats insects, while weeds and fish manure nurtures the paddy field.


In this way, the rice-fish system maintains the normal cycle without the application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, ensuring the ecological balance of the farmland. The unique rice-fish culture which was shaped after more than a thousand years of development embodies not only a wealth of agricultural knowledge, diverse rice and fish varieties and traditional farm tools, but also particular folk culture, festival and food culture.


Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture system was identified as a GIAHS site in 2005.



GIAHS in China: Overview

GIAHS Pilot Site 2: Hani Rice Terraces in Honghe, Yunnan

GIAHS Pilot Site 3: Wannian Traditional Rice Culture System

GIAHS Pilot Site 4: Dong's Rice Fish Duck System, Guizhou

GIAHS Pilot Site 5: Pu’er Traditional Tea Agrosystem, Yunan

GIAHS Pilot Site 6: Aohan Dryland Farming System, Inner Mongolia

GIAHS Pilot Site 7: Urban Agricultural Heritage of Xuanhua Grape Gardens, Hebei

GIAHS Pilot Site 8: Shaoxing Torreya Grandis cv. Merrillii Community, Zhejiang

GIAHS Pilot Site 9: Jiaxian Traditional Chinese Date Gardens

GIAHS Pilot Site 10: Fuzhou Jasmine and Tea Culture System

GIAHS Pilot Site 11: Xinghua Duotian Agrosystem


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