US-style farm set to put down deep roots near Bei­jing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHANG YU in Shi­ji­azhuang zhangyu1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A land­mark demon­stra­tion farm mod­eled faith­fully on a Mid­west­ern farm­stead sit­u­ated in the US state of Iowa, is set to start con­struc­tion in Septem­ber near Bei­jing with the aim of help­ing ad­vance the tech­nol­ogy of mod­ern mech­a­nized agri­cul­ture in China.

The farm — called the Sino-US Friend­ship Model Farm — will cost an es­ti­mated $1 bil­lion and will cover 3,300 acres (1,336 hectares) out­side the town of Hushiha in north­ern Hebei prov­ince, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior of­fi­cial.

The town i n Luan­ping county, which is ad­min­is­tered by the city of Chengde, is about 150 kilo­me­ters to the north­east of Bei­jing. A sec­tion of China’s Great Wall, Jin­shan­ling, passes through it.

Last year, an agree­ment on build­ing the model farm near Chengde was signed in Hebei, when Iowa’s for­mer Gov­er­nor Terry Branstad vis­ited the prov­ince.

The farm will in­tro­duce crop va­ri­eties, and use farm­ing equip­ment and tech­niques as well as man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence from Iowa, ac­cord­ing to Ye Changqing , exec utive deputy head of the Hebei Peo­ple’s A sso­ci­a­tion for Friend­ship with For­eign Coun­tries.

It will also in­vite US farm­ers to run it, Ye said.

In ad­di­tion, the farm will act as an ed­u­ca­tional base for agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment and be­come a draw for eco­a­gri­cul­tural tourism.

A del­e­ga­tion led by Chengde of­fi­cials vis­ited Iowa in April, to learn more about the farm­stead and to make prepa­ra­tions for the cre­ation of a similar one in China.

At the mo­ment, the land req­ui­si­tion for the farm is un­der­way.

By the end of the month, ba­sic prepa­ra­tion work should be fin­ished, in­clud­ing over­all plan­ning and de­sign of the farm, said Wang Xiaodong, deputy gov­er­nor of Hebei prov­ince.

He was speak­ing ear­lier in the month at Luan­ping, where he hosted a meet­ing to dis­cuss the process.

A com­pany, Rong­sheng Group, is in charge of the plan­ning and de­sign work.

No spe­cific sched­ule about the farm, how­ever, has so far been dis­closed.

The Mid­west­ern state of Iowa, with which Hebei has been a sis­ter prov­ince since 1983, is a ma­jor pro­ducer of corn and soy­bean in the US.

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