Ask China's You Fu about his Jingzhou City and he beams with excitement.
“This is our agricultural high-tech center,” Fu says. “We welcome you all to China’s new national agricultural science and technology park zone.”
What is happening in Jingzhou is nothing short of everything in farming - cutting edge technology,” adds Fu, the vice director of the general office for the city.
“The Central China Agricultural High-Tech Industry Development Zone, or CCAHIDZ, is new and it is something everyone in international agriculture needs to know about.”
In September 2013, the zone was admitted by the national Ministry of Science as the technological hub, Fu said in an address at the 12th International Conference on Precision Agriculture in Sacramento, Calif. in July.
The city on the Jianghan Plain, Fu says, offers “cluster zones of agricultural high-tech industry, zones of interest in modern agricultural development demonstrations, and system and farm machine innovation development and experimentation.”
It is China’s “Silicon Valley” of farm research, designed to bring the nation into international focus on the precision agriculture front.
Jingzhou City was picked as the location in part due to its rich agricultural history as a major grain production region, and a cotton, oil, fish, meat, and egg farming center. With seven universities in the area, tapping into research associates at the local level is widespread, Fu says.
Part of the agricultural complex is a 20,000 square-meter technical institute at Yangtze University. The overall tech park covers more than 2,000 acres.
Its location in the center of China was also picked for its transportation pluses. Sanxia Airport is 45 minutes away, and less than a half-hour drive or train trip from Shanghai. Travelers can also reach the city by water at a port via a variety of canal ships.
While the city is trying to advance research today, the CCAHIDZ center is a center of China’s farming industry, Fu says.
“Modern warehousing logistics are available here for ag products, including frozen and fresh product handling. Station yards and wharfs handle incoming shipments each day into the city,” he says, “and is a maze of electronic trading centers.
“There is a large administrative business and financial center,” Fu said, “providing trade services for agricultural products and a clearing house for agricultural properties and rights assistance, technological insurance, plus investment and financing for farm businesses.
“The agricultural biotechnology industry park focuses on bio-technology industries such as biological breeding, fertilizers, feed, pesticides, medicine, biological energy, and more,” said Fu.
“Peach Blossom Village is an attractive tourist district as well for vacationers where the farming culture is highlighted.”
Ag product processing is also a major part of the center, Fu says, with businesses handling grain, oil crops, fish, animal products, vegetables, and fruits.
“There is also an agricultural advanced equipment manufacturing industry park focusing on farm machinery, support facilities, agricultural environmental treatment equipment, and agricultural information services.”
Fu says the CCAHIDZ will be the pioneer among high-tech industry zones in China. It will establish a first-class, world-renowned demonstration and promotion center of agricultural science and technological innovation.”
Note: T.J. Burnham is the editor of Western Farmer-Stockman, a sister publication of Western Farm Press.