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Rooted in sustainability

Updated: 2024-05-18 10:20 ( China Daily )
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Plump chestnuts are gathered in a basket during the September harvest in Kuancheng county.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Long history

Since 2005, the organization has designated at least 86 systems in 26 countries as agricultural heritage sites under its program. China ranked first in the world in the number of the heritage systems by 2023, with its total of 22 entries.

"Kuancheng chestnut forests are distributed on the foothills and the lower parts of hillsides, existing in harmony with the local flora and fauna and setting an important example for the development of eco-agriculture in a mountainous, semiarid area with limited resources," says Shang Heli, economic crops director at Kuancheng's agriculture and rural affairs bureau.

"Evolved from ancient times, chestnut cultivation here encompasses rationally allocated soil terraces, customized irrigation pits and channels, natural fertilization and pest control, and complementary crops, such as mushrooms and grain, as well as free-ranging poultry, grown and bred under the trees that altogether offer a closed-loop, comprehensive, efficient and ecological farming tradition passed down generations," he says.

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