On invitation of the China Organic Food Certification Center (COFCC) DCZ science advisor Eva Sternfeld participated in the China International Organic Product Development and Market Promotion Conference held in Fengning (丰宁) Manchu Autonomous County, Chengde City, Hebei Province.
The conference was intended to inform the international participants about the impressive efforts of the former poverty county Fengning to develop organic farming and eco-tourism as well as inform Chinese officials and entrepreneurs about the international organic food development. For Germany, Mr. Axel Wildner, Counselor for Food and Agriculture, German Embassy gave a presentation on “Organic Agriculture in Germany. Significance and Promotion”. In her presentation Eva Sternfeld added information about the long history of organic farming in Germany and recent chances and challenges for the fast-growing market.
On the first day of the event the international participants had the opportunity to visit an organic millet production site. The Huangqihuang (黄旗皇) millet farm produces high end organic millet and is part of the county’s efforts to develop a national organic farming demonstration base in Huangqi. According to County Magistrate Mr. Yang Xianjun at present about 5000 ha agricultural land as well as 36 farms and processing enterprises are certified organic. About 30,000 people managed to escape from poverty by engaging in organic farming, food processing and eco-tourism.
In the past 18 years large areas in Fengning have been afforested and grassland rehabilitated to curtail dust storms and protect the headwaters of Chao and Luan River, major water supplies of the mega-cities Beijing and Tianjin. These efforts now pay out: Fengning has developed into a flourishing site for eco-tourism, offering a wide range of activities such as horseback riding and hiking. Conference participants had the opportunity to visit a recently opened forest recreation path in Qiansongba Forest Park (千松坝森林公园).