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Chinese Agricultural Heritage Online Exhibition

Information Sources:

Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the PRC & Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the PRC



Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) was launched and recognized by FAO. GIAHS are defined as” Remarkable land use systems and landscapes which are rich in globally significant biology diversity evolving from the co-adaptation of a community with its environment and its needs and aspirations for sustainable development. Since 2002, FAO has designated 62 sites in 22 countries as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems. Under the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, with the joint efforts of local departments, scientific research institutes, and the relevant stakeholders, 15 outstanding traditional eco-agricultural systems have been identified and recognized by FAO as GIAHS in China.

Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture System, Zhejiang Province

Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture System was a pilot site selected by the FAO for support under the GIAHS initiative. Rice and fish co-exist and support each other in the system, which exemplifies synergy of cropping and fish farming and the comprehensive use of natural resources.

Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System, Yunnan Province

Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System in Honghe region is a precious pearl in the world agricultural heritage system, a wonder for the magnificent and spectacular terraced landscape which has immense economic, ecological and aesthetic values.

Wannian-Traditional Rice Culture System, Jiangxi Province

Wannian Traditional Rice Culture System is developed over thousands of years by local people from their traditional farming practices in seed improvement, sowing, transplanting, field management, harvesting, storage and fine processing, which passes on through generations to the present day.

Congjiang Dong's Rice-Fish-Duck System, Guizhou Province

Dong’s Rice Fish Duck System celebrates a thousand years of farming tradition. It is the major source of food for the locals and has economic, ecological, social and cultural values.

Pu’er Traditional Tea Agrosystem, Yunnan Province

Pu’er city of Yunnan province, ‘a provenance of tea trees’, homes the largest wild tea tree communities and ancient tea gardens with a predominant amount of old and wild tea trees. It has nurtured a traditional system of tea tree cultivation and a time-honored tea culture.

Aohan Dryland Farming System, Inner Mongolia

The dryland farming practice in Aohan is rooted in broomcorn millet and foxtail millet cultivation. This system tells a history of evolution of minor crops and their adaptation to the environment. It has supported local life, economy and society for thousands of years.

Urban Agricultural Heritage of Xuanhua Grape Gardens, Hebei Province

Xuanhua Traditional Vineyard System is a typical example of the traditional Chinese garden agriculture. Its funnel-shape designed trellis is still in use now, enlivening a unique vineyard landscape, a profound cultural heritage and rich values for scientific research.

Shaoxing Kuaijishan Ancient Chinese Torreya, Zhejiang Province

The ancient Chinese Torreya trees in the Kuaijishan Community, thousands of which are more than 1000 years old, form a spectacular landscape together with traditional villages, streams and mountains. The ancient grafting and artificial selection technique is applied, making it a rare “living fossil”.


Fuzhou Jasmine and Tea Culture System, Fujian Province

Adaptable to local microclimate, Fuzhou Jasmine and Tea Culture System is built on 2000 years of evolution of growing tea on slopes and jasmine near waterways, delicate tea scenting techniques, rich tea drinking art and related cultural activities.

Xinghua Duotian Agrosystem, Jiangsu Province

Xinghua Duotian Agrosystem is a typical example of wetland agrosystem, known for its indigenous management of low-lying land in water bodies and the splendid landscape created by miles of “Duotian” (elevated pieces of field) above water which is rarely seen in the world.

Jiaxian Traditional Chinese Date Gardens, Shaanxi Province

Jiaxian Traditional Chinese Date Gardens are one of the earliest jujube cultivation centers in the world, with a community of 1,100 date trees planted one thousand years ago, which deserve conservation for their economic value, ecological functions and lasting culture significance.

Huzhou Mulberry-dyke and Fish Pond System, Zhejiang Province

Huzhou Mulberry-dyke and Fish Pond System is located along the southern part of Taihu Lake. By constructing water conservancy projects, local people controlled the flood and turned the low-lying waterlogged land into fish ponds and used the mud from the ponds to build the dykes. Gradually, they have developed a typical circular ecosystem for farming activities, which includes the components of growing mulberry on the dyke, feeding silkworms with mulberry leaves, using silkworm excreta as fish food and fish excreta as manure for the pond, and heaping pond mud around the roots of mulberry.

Diebu Zhagana Agriculture-Forestry-Animal Husbandry Composite System, Gansu Province

Zhagana Agriculture-Forestry-Animal Husbandry Composite System is a typical model of a complex mixture of agriculture, pasture farming and forestry. Within this system, farms, rivers, villagers, temples exist in great harmony with the surrounding forestry and grassland. The rivers come across from the grassland and forestry, whose bed can be used for crop farming. Local villagers will become herdsmen, farmers, hunters and woodcutters throughout the year according to the different seasons and farming calendar, giving full play to the role of agricultural production and ecological functions of this system.

Xiajin Yellow River Old Course Ancient Mulberry Grove System, Shandong Province

Traditional Mulberry System in Xiajin’s Ancient Yellow River Course has the oldest and largest ancient mulberry grove in China. It has multiple functions in sand control, biodiversity conservation, utilization of biological resources, etc. It is the representation of farming and sericulture activities in the Yellow River basin.

Rice Terraces in Southern Mountainous and Hilly areas, The Ziquejie Terraces in Xinhua, Hunan Province

The Ziquejie Terraces in Xinhua, Hunan are the result from hard work by generations of Miao, Yao, Dong and Han people, and the historic heritage from the fusion of the rice farming culture in southern China and the fishing and hunting culture of Miao and Yao people in the mountainous areas.

Rice Terraces in Southern Mountainous and Hilly areas,The Lianhe Terraces in Youxi, Fujian Province

The Lianhe Terraces in Youxi, Fujian have a unique agricultural system in the mountainous areas that combines bamboo groves, villages, terraces and streams. Within this system, natural precipitation is stored in the bamboo groves at the mountaintop and then forms streams that flow down into the villages and farmland.

Rice Terraces in Southern Mountainous and Hilly areas, The Guangxi Longsheng Longji Terraces, Guangxi Province

The Longji Terraces in Longsheng, Guangxi are named after the mountain range like the dragon’s back. Through many years of practices, the local people have developed a comprehensive technology and knowledge system for agricultural production and the local rules that ensure steady evolution of this system. They have set up a mode of “forest above and farmland below, and dynamic balance” for water and soil conservation at the terraces.

Rice Terraces in Southern Mountainous and Hilly areas, The Hakka Terraces in Chongyi, Jiangxi Province

The Hakka Terraces in Chongyi, Jiangxi have a history of more than 800 years. The Hakka ancestors who migrated from the Central Plains gradually developed their distinctive cultures and customs permeated with ideas for terrace farming, which has become a unique component of the Hakka farming civilization.

Shexian Dryland Stone Terraced System, Hebei Province (Purposed Site)

Shexian Dryland Stone Terraced System adopts the stone-ridge terraces and a variety of crop rotation systems, which solves the problem of instability and helps to maximize the space for stone terraces, reflecting the system’s dynamic characteristic to adapt to social and economic changes, and this system is a model for the development of mountain agriculture in the arid regions of northern China.

Anxi Tieguanyin Tea Culture System, Fujian Province (Purposed Site)

Anxi has a history of tea production for more than 1,000 years. It is home to oolong tea in China and is an important cultural symbol of the “Maritime Silk Road”. The ecological system, production system, and cultural system derived from Anxi Tieguanyin constitute the Tieguanyin tea culture system of Anxi, Fujian, which is a model of tea farming culture.

Ar Horqin Grassland Nomadic System, Inner Mongolia (Purposed Site)

Ar Horqin Grassland Nomadic System in Inner Mongolia is located in the southwestern edge of the Greater Xing’an Mountains. It is a composite nomadic ecosystem that involves herders, livestock, grassland and rivers. It has the distinctive characteristics of interdependence and harmonious symbiosis.

Qingyuan Forest-Mushroom Co-culture System, Zhejiang Province (Purposed Site)

Qingyuan Forest-Mushroom Co-culture System is a mountain forest-agricultural compound system formed by local people for thousands of years. It has a unique forest-mushroom co-cultivation technology system, rich forest ecological and mushroom culture, and an ecological landscape with coherent structure.

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