Zhangzhuang town in Jining boosts rural vitalization, builds livable rural environment

(chinadaily.com.cn)Updated: 2022-07-19

Zhangzhuang town in Zoucheng, Jining has beefed up efforts to build five provincial-level and four municipal-level "beautiful and livable" rural demonstration villages around Fenghuang Mountain, as well as a demonstration area for rural vitalization around Fengqitonghua scenic spot.

Zhangzhuang town is sparing no effort to develop its own unique agricultural industry and combine the building of beautiful villages with tourism, promoting the integration of multiple industries and boosting the incomes of residents while also beautifying the rural environment.

Zhangzhuang town has been implementing a strategy of transforming farmland back into forest and fruit trees for a number of years. Currently, the cherry planting area totals 35,000 mu (2,333 hectares). The town is also setting up a complete industrial chain for sweet potatoes, from cultivating seedlings and planting to processing and sales.

Zhangzhuang town has created twelve brands for local agricultural products, including the Zhangzhuang cherry and Cuocaoyu sweet potato, while four products have passed the Green Food Certification (CFC), and twelve products have passed the Certification of Pollution-free Product.

Relying on an "e-commerce + express delivery" model, Zhangzhuang town sells its agricultural products to 17 provinces and cities, including Hebei and Guangdong. Over 20,000 orders can be placed online every year, which greatly boosts the incomes of farmers.

Zhangzhuang town regularly holds events to attract visitors to come enjoy blooming flowers, hike Fenghuang Mountain, and pick cherries or persimmons. Homestay and "happy farmhouses" are also highly popular. As many as one million tourists visit per year. In 2021, Shiling village received over 600,000 visitors, with a peak daily reception of 8,000 people. The village's annual income reached 5.3 million yuan ($785,800) with a profit of 2.3 million yuan. The villagers' annual income through tourism increased by more than 5,000 yuan per capita.

Several traditional crafts such as rattan-plaiting and wine brewing are also being promoted and developed to help residents increase their incomes. 

Zhangzhuang town is also setting up a distribution center for rural tourism commodities, and selling various agricultural and related products as well as other cultural creative products, including gourd pyrography, straw-plaiting artworks, peanut butter and flower tea.