Alterra has designed a park for recreation and education for the Wujin polder near the Chinese town of Changzhou. The exhibits will include a section on the commercial production of mushrooms, tortoises, bonsai trees, crabs and oysters.
One of the project leaders, Madeleine van Mansfeld, believes that the idea of an agro-production park as a new sort of mixed farm is likely to be successful in China. While the idea has not really been picked up in the Netherlands, in China there are still many farmers that practise mixed farming. According to Mansfeld the park will also fulfil Chinese recreation requirements; the Chinese enjoy spending time in attractively laid out theme parks where they can also learn something.
Account manager Bert Harms also mentions that the project is unique in that the Chinese government has paid for the entire amount of foreign input in the project. In the first phase this only amounted to 120,000 euros, but Harms expects later phases to bring in more. He also thinks that similar projects can be set up in other areas of China, with agro-parks that are specifically oriented towards different climatic conditions. / MW