Dozens of foreign diplomats to China said they were impressed by
a Beijing village's use of ecoagriculture during a science and
technology tour there Thursday.
Organized by the Beijing Association for Science and Technology,
the tour attracted more than 50 foreign diplomats from some 30
countries including Australia, Italy, Japan, France and the United
They visited farmers' homes and set foot on the fields to sample
the fruits of ecoagriculture at the Cherry Valley Village of
Mentougou district in eastern Beijing.
As its name suggests, the village's income comes mainly from
cherry planting. And thanks to the hi-tech and environmentally
friendly measures introduced in recent years, it has become one of
the most prosperous villages in Beijing.
Roberto Coisson, the science and technology counselor with the
Italian Embassy in Beijing, said: "I am deeply impressed by the
good living environment of the farmers here; big houses, clean
streets and trees everywhere.
"It is great that solar energy street lamps are installed in the
village and solar water heaters and solar-powered ovens can be seen
in farmers' homes," he said.
The bright red cherries also provided the diplomats with a sweet
memory; many could not resist picking them straight from the trees
and popping them into their mouths.
As chemical fertilizers and pesticides have been totally
replaced by biological and physical measures during planting, the
fruits grow larger and sweeter with a brilliant red color.
Over the past 15 years, cherry planting has turned this once
poverty-stricken village into a wealthy one.
The average yearly income of most people in the village is now
as high as 10,000 yuan (US$1,300).
The village introduced quality varieties of cherries from
Shandong Province in 1992 and asked for technological support from
the Beijing Agriculture Science Institute to help farmers improve
their planting techniques, Li Quanjun, the village head said.
"We grow the best quality cherries and attract lots of buyers
every year," Li said.
"We sold 40,000 kg of them in just two weeks last May, even
though they were more expensive than those from other
(China Daily June 1, 2007)