Coun­try es­tab­lishes na­tional fes­ti­val cel­e­brat­ing con­tri­bu­tions of farm­ers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZOU SHUO zoushuo@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China will host more than 100 ac­tiv­i­ties na­tion­wide to cel­e­brate the first Chi­nese Farm­ers’ Har­vest Fes­ti­val, the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral Af­fairs said on Thurs­day.

The min­istry has se­lected 100 vil­lages, 100 ru­ral cul­tural events, 100 types of food, 100 agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and 100 ru­ral travel routes that ur­ban dwellers can fol­low to the coun­try­side to cel­e­brate with farm­ers, Qu Dongyu, vicem­i­nis­ter of agri­cul­ture and ru­ral af­fairs, said at a news con­fer­ence in Beijing.

The fes­ti­val, the first cre­ated es­pe­cially for farm­ers, re­flects the high pri­or­ity the cen­tral gov­ern­ment places on ru­ral ar­eas and agri­cul­ture, as well as its de­ter­mi­na­tion to de­velop a thriv­ing agri­cul­tural in­dus­try, beau­ti­ful coun­try­side and well-off farm­ers, Qu said.

Farm­ers de­serve a spe­cial fes­ti­val since they have made great con­tri­bu­tions to the liveli­hoods of the peo­ple. And set­ting up the fes­ti­val will im­prove the sta­tus of farm­ers, in­crease their self-es­teem and create an en­vi­ron­ment that re­spects and val­ues them, he said.

Most of the cel­e­bra­tions will take place at a lo­cal level with ac­tiv­i­ties de­rived from lo­cal cus­toms, Qu said.

The na­tion will cel­e­brate its first Chi­nese Farm­ers’ Har­vest Fes­ti­val on the au­tumn equinox on the Chi­nese lu­nar cal­en­dar, which falls this year on Sept 23, a Sun­day, one day be­fore MidAu­tumn Fes­ti­val.

Au­tumn equinox is one of the 24 so­lar terms in the lu­nar cal­en­dar and marks the mid­point of au­tumn.

Han Changfu, min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture and ru­ral af­fairs, said at a news con­fer­ence in June that as a ma­jor agri­cul­tural coun­try China has the largest num­ber of farm­ers in the world, and an­nual grain pro­duc­tion reach­ing 600 mil­lion met­ric tons for five con­sec­u­tive years.

Al­though cli­mates and crops dif­fer in var­i­ous parts of China, most crops ma­ture in au­tumn, which is why the gov­ern­ment chose to cel­e­brate har­vest fes­ti­val at the au­tumn equinox, he said, adding that ex­trav­a­gance and waste should be avoided in the cel­e­bra­tions.

CUI MENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Farm­ers watch rams do bat­tle in Dang­shan county, An­hui prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day. The event was held to mark the har­vest of pears. Pears and small-tailed sheep are spe­cialty prod­ucts of the county.

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