--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Agricultural Products Meet International Standards
Chen Jieru, a farmer from the remote mountainous area of east China's Anhui Province, can barely contain his excitement at learning that his tea has received certification from the Swiss Institute for Market Ecology (IMO).

Though remote and encircled by hills, Chen Jieru and other farmers in Qiyun Village, Jinzhai County, know their methods and crop are up to international standards.

"The tea I grow according to international standards has a delicate fragrance and sells very well abroad," Chen says cheerfully.

Though Qiyun has just 300 households, its 34.9 hectares of tea plantations tended by over 250 families have been awarded the IMO organic certification.

Wang Qiuhua, the IMO's delegate in China, said the IMO was a globally-acknowledged organization conducting authoritative tests, which would provide a "green" pass for China's tea exports.

Since China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, an increasing number of domestic farmers have started to adjust their farming methods with government guidance.

Voluntarily conforming to international standards, Chinese farmers have successfully cultivated high quality fruits, vegetables, tea and grain crops, which are exported to all over the world. The country has made big strides in agricultural development by caring more about quality than quantity.

Anhui agronomist Wang Jun said farming in accordance with international standards was an important step to enhancing the competitiveness of China's labor-intensive produce.

Due to a long-term shortage of cultivation and management technologies, much Chinese produce was hindered in its access to foreign markets as it failed to meet international standards in certain environmental or ecological indices, leading to huge economic losses of over 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion).

Shouguang city, in east China's Shandong Province, has suffered such losses. A US business group had intended to purchase 40 tons of Chinese dates from local farmers in 2002, but finally rejected the deal after discovering that hormone and pesticide residues in the dates seriously exceeded international standards.

Strict restrictions on entering global markets and intense competition have forced Chinese farmers to transform their under-developed modes of production.

Chen Jieru said, "I now adopt biological methods to prevent diseases and pests instead of using traditional fertilizers or chemicals. Therefore, the tea I grow is free from pollution and fully conforms to international standards."

Jinzhai County has altogether 232.7 hectares of tea plantations with IMO certification, and the tea is sold to the United States, Europe, Japan and Southeast Asian areas.

The average annual income from tea in Jinzhai has increased by over 800 yuan to 2000 yuan, accounting for a quarter of the village's total income.

According to sources from the Agriculture Ministry, China began to establish demonstration plots of international standards in some of the major production bases of farm produce from 1996, covering 117 counties in 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

Statistics from the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) show that all plots have increased both production and income for three successive years, raising agricultural output value by over four billion yuan (US$484 million).

Yancheng City of east China's Jiangsu Province, which exports 70 percent of its farm produce, regards standardized farming as the key to occupying global markets. So far, Yancheng has stipulated more than 160 quality standards for farm products, and 10 agricultural enterprises have received ISO9000 certification. Gansu, Shaanxi and other provinces in west China are also actively promoting farming in line with international standards.

Anqiu City in Shandong has set up a special search system on www.kagayakutaiyo.com, which publishes production details of the Chinese onion, spring onion and Chinese yam which are exported to Japan. The website gives consumers information on their growth process, related soil and water quality as well as the use of chemicals and fertilizers according to the serial numbers attached to the vegetables.

"By disclosing the whole production process to foreign consumers, we want to clear up concerns on standards in Chinese farming," said an official with the city's government.

The Chinese government is aiming to realize standardized farming across the country by 2005. Meanwhile, it will also develop a comprehensive quality test system controlling the quality of produce from farmland to dining table.

(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2003)

More Laws Supporting Agricultural Development
Policies on Processing of Farm Products Unveiled
Exports of Agricultural Products Hit a Record High
State Maps out Agricultural Development
China's Agricultural Industry Holds up after WTO Entry
Sino-EU Agricultural Cooperation Launched
Time to Strike with Green Agriculture
International Standards to Help Domestic Geese Lay Golden Eggs
China Active in International Standardization Move
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688