China wants its long-standing freshwater pearl farming technique to be recognised as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System, which is equivalent to a world heritage, according to a report.
The government of Deqing is preparing to file an application to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, Xinhuanet.com recently reported. Deqing is a county located in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province where the freshwater pearl farming technique was developed by a local man named Ye Jinyang during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).
According to local archives, 5,000 households in Deqing depended on the farming technique at that time. It was then brought to the rest of the world by foreigners travelling in China in the 18th century.
Deqing remains as China’s largest freshwater pearl production base, the report said. In 2016, its freshwater pearls output reached near 100 tonnes, accounting for 10 percent of China’s total production. Freshwater pearl farming was added to China’s list of most important agricultural heritage by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in July.