Zaozhuang: specialty industry fuels rural revitalization

( )| Updated : 2018-12-28

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In recent years, Zaozhuang city in East China's Shandong province has been promoting rural revitalization by implementing the "culture + tourism" strategy as well as developing featured agriculture to inject new momentum into rural development and increase the incomes of local villagers.

Xianghe Manor, an agri-tourism destination located in Malantun town of Taierzhuang district of Zaozhuang, covers an area of 10,000 mu (666.67 hectares). It is a 3A-level scenic spot integrating dairy processing and sales, an organic food plantation and ecological sightseeing.

The manor's fruit and vegetable picking business generated more than 6 million yuan ($870,676) of income for local villagers this year, according to a local official.                                             


Villagers pick tomato plant buds at a vegetable greenhouse in Xianghe Manor, an agri-tourism destination in Taierzhuang district of Zaozhuang city, Shandong province, Dec 13. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]


A cow breeding center at the Xianghe Manor. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]

Zaozhuang's Yicheng district is renowned as the "hometown of pomegranates in China". It has the largest area of continuous planting, the largest variety and the most complete industrial chain in China.

Pomegranates are processed into more than 20 varieties of products such as fruit juice, wine, tea, health care products and cosmetics, with an annual output value of more than 2 billion yuan.


Villagers prune pomegranate bonsai at a cultivation center in Yicheng district of Zaozhuang, Shandong province on Dec 13. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]


A worker corks the bottles of pomegranate wine at a plant in Yicheng district of Zaozhuang, Shandong province on Dec 13. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]

Backed by its time-honored and prosperous brush pen making industry, Yinping town in Zaozhuang has opened a museum dedicated to promoting traditional calligraphy culture.

Yinping's brush making techniques originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), and were passed on and developed in following dynasties. The traditional writing brush making craft was listed as a Shandong provincial-level intangible cultural heritage in 2016.        

Yinping's brush products have been exported to Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and other regions, with an annual production of more than 4 million and output value of 56 million yuan.


Craftsmen perform different procedures of brush pen making at a workshop in Yinping town, Zaozhuang, Shandong province, Dec 13. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]

Hulutao, a remote mountain village in Zaozhuang's Shanting district, has been prospering through implementing the "culture + tourism" strategy.

The small village was named after its gourd-shaped terrain. Gourds, or "hulu", are considered very auspicious. The pronunciation of "hulu" sounds similar to the Chinese word happiness and wealth. And gourds have a lot of seeds inside, symbolizing a big family with many children.

The village has devoted major efforts to leveraging its gourd culture and picturesque landscapes in a bid to create a special business card for the village and lure more visitors.

A gourd art museum has been set up to display handicraft made from gourds, where visitors can learn about gourd culture and try their hand at gourd painting, carving and pyrographs.

The village has also established facilities to support tourism and encouraged villagers to open restaurants and residential accommodation with local cultural characteristics.


A craftsman paints on a gourd at the art museum in Hulutao village of Shanting district, Zaozhuang, Shandong province, Dec 13. [Photo by Wang Qian/China Daily]