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'Leisure agriculture' booms in China

Xinhua, October 13, 2014 Adjust font size:

Leisure agriculture, a new business that combines sightseeing, tourism and recreation, is booming in China.

Latest figures show more than 900 million agritourists in 2013, generating a turnover of 270 billion yuan (US$44 billion).

The industry has helped create aditional incomes for nearly 30 million farmers so far, according to Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) officials at a conference in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on Saturday.

The number of tourists and revenue are both expanding at an average annual rate of 15 percent and in the first half of this year, 500 million visitors generated revenue of 150 billion yuan.

Leisure agriculture plays an important part in rural areas, protecting local ecosystems and spreading traditional Chinese culture, said Chen Faxi, head of Jiangning District, Nanjing. At Saturday's conference, 100 rural villages in Chen's district were given awards as pioneering "leisure villages."

"With favorable government policies and more people with higher disposable incomes, leisure agriculture definitely has a bright future," he said.

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