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Sowing seeds of understanding

Updated: 2024-06-05 07:36 ( China Daily )
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International students pick mushrooms at a "smart" mushroom planting base in Jurong, Zhenjiang, East China's Jiangsu province, on May 18. [Photo provided to China Daily]

International students from diverse backgrounds explore rural Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, learning about China's rich agricultural heritage and vibrant tea culture.

On May 18-19, over 130 students and teachers from 19 universities in East China's Jiangsu province embarked on a two-day trip to Zhenjiang, a city in Jiangsu. These students hailed from 31 countries, including the UK, Russia, Spain, France, Vietnam, Australia, and China.

During the two-day event, they immersed themselves in China's agricultural history and learned about its modern farming techniques.

For Anne Lauren Beer, a 22-year-old UK student at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, the trip provided a glimpse into the charm of contemporary rural China. At a "smart" mushroom planting base, Beer witnessed how 5G technology enables the automated control of optimal mushroom-growing conditions.

The students were also invited to pick and cook mushrooms on-site, savoring the flavor when it was at its freshest. "I'm not usually a fan of mushrooms and sometimes find them unappealing, but these ones were so good. It was hard not to love them," Beer said.

As an environmental science student, Beer observed that modern agriculture in China retains the benefits of traditional practices while emphasizing environmental conservation. At an organic farm, she saw how local farmers had adapted traditions to incorporate sustainable practices, such as avoiding pesticides and ensuring crop health through diverse seeds and technical methods.

"It's a great way to preserve cultural heritage and sustain agriculture as an occupation. This is also good for the environment," she said.

Angelina Lisovenko, a 20-year-old Russian student at Jiangsu University, gained new insights into Chinese agricultural traditions, and she pointed out the significance of agriculture in both Russian and Chinese cultures and economies.

"China has adopted modern agricultural technologies, including precision farming and biotechnology, more rapidly than Russia," she said.

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