Visitors to an agricultural exhibition in Beijing's Changping district last week were surprised by giant mushrooms, dark blue goldfish, vegetables grown in pyramid-shaped greenhouses and many other products they had never seen before.
The event, co-organized by Beijing's agricultural and financial authority, showcased the achievements of the city's 10 agricultural innovation teams over the past six years.
Included were pink mushrooms that can serve both as food or potted decoration.
Visitors to an agricultural exhibition in Beijing inspect vegetables grown with innovative techniques. Chen Jiannan / For China Daily
Deng Dejiang, leader of the mushroom team and deputy chief of the Beijing Association for Mushroom Science, told Beijing Daily that the pink mushrooms are high in protein and low in fat, and rich in varieties of amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Beside them were golden mushrooms said to be good for the lungs, liver and kidneys.
Technicians at the exhibition said the colorful new species of mushrooms could be processed into fine powder and mixed with flour. Bread and biscuits made from the flour would contain fungus polysaccharide to improve immunity without a noticeable change in taste.
Specializing in different fields from fruits and vegetables to poultry and fish, the teams have conducted research since 2009 to establish modern agricultural technology and industry systems that integrate city resources to form a chain, from production bases to customers' tables.
Their achievements have led to more than 6 billion yuan ($942 million) in GDP.
They have developed more than 450 new techniques that have been used on nearly 80,000 hectares of land, 52.8 million poultry birds, nearly 2 million cows and more than 5 million pigs.
The achievements include an operating system for unmanned tractors based on the Beidou satellite navigation system, a cultivation mechanism using recycled water and a technique to harvest corn kernels directly.
The techniques have saved about 200 million cubic meters of water so far, and reduced annual chemical fertilizer use by nearly 10,000 metric tons and pesticides by 15 percent, according to a report from Farmers' Daily.
The teams have also developed 111 new breeds, including 105 crop varieties.
Beisheng I heat-resistant lettuce can be grown in the height of summer and 5181 wheat increases yield by 9.5 percent. The Nongda III hen consumes about 20 percent less feed needed by other poultry breeds.
They have also invented nearly 300 other products to increase the added value of farm produce.
One example is a medicine that can cure 85 percent of cow mastitis and reduce the chance of the disease by 8 percentage points. The medicine is two-thirds cheaper than imported products of the same type.
(China Daily 09/30/2015 page17)