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Name: Henan Zhongyuan Organic Agriculture Institute
Country: China
Active Since: 2015

Member of IFOAM – Organics International since 2017

Henan Zhongyuan Organic Agriculture Institute is an organic grower and supplier, planting about 30 kinds of vegetables and fruits in accordance with the IFOAM Norms that are fresh, safe and convenient, and providing year-round fruits, and vegetables for farm members and the community directly from the field to table.       

Biao Liu, Henggui Cui and Jinlong Sun are some of the young small-scale organic farmers working under the framework of the institute © Henan Zhongyuan

They are also engaged in researching and applying organic farming technologies, establishing solutions for organic agriculture, and providing services for the entire sector in their region. 

In addition, they have a project supporting college graduates to start an eco-agriculture business, by providing on-spot training on technical know-how, marketing, and investment.

We aim to establish a community where small farmers, citizens, and the environment can coexist harmoniously. Here, farmers receive a decent income, citizens obtain safe food, and the environment is protected.

Chenglin SangPresident of Henan Zhongyuan Organic Agriculture Institute

Chenglin Sang, the President of Henan Zhongyuan Organic Agriculture Institute at one of the institute’s farms © Henan Zhongyuan

Why biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth including animals, plants, microorganisms, and other life forms, which are the foundation and backbone of all life on earth. Rich biodiversity can enhance the stability and resilience of ecosystems, enabling them to better cope with environmental changes and challenges such as climate change, land use change, and environmental pollution. 

It also maintains the entire food system, where each organism plays a different role in the food chain or material cycling chain, thus ensuring the balance of the ecosystem.

That is why we encourage everyone to choose organic products because by doing so, they support the organic farmers working hard to boost and preserve biodiversity. 

As a promoter and beneficiary of agricultural biodiversity, Henan Zhongyuan works towards preserving biodiversity in the region. The institute is located on the banks of the Yellow River in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, which is a national-level nature reserve with abundant biodiversity. The reserve has a total area of 38000 ha with 217 species of wild terrestrial vertebrates, including 169 species of birds, 21 species of mammals, 10 species of amphibians, and 17 species of reptiles.

Impressions of the organic farm and various activities held there, for instance, school trips, training and research

How Henan Zhongyuan promotes biodiversity

Henan Zhongyuan uses organic as a solution to boost and preserve biodiversity in various ways on their farms.

  • One of the main principles of organic farming is to avoid the use of synthetic chemical pesticides which helps to reduce harm to insects, birds, and other animals, as well as reducing the exposure of their employees to harmful chemicals, thus prioritising health and safety. The farms instead use more environmentally-friendly agricultural practices such as biological control.
  • Organic farming typically uses plant cover and encourages preserving grasslands. The institutes’ farms safeguard wildlife habitats by preserving natural grasslands, wetlands, and forests and planting trees and shrubs in open areas of the farms. 
  • Organic farming also employs more sustainable soil management techniques, such as crop rotation, tillage, and straw cover. These improve soil health, reduce pest and disease incidence, and provide more food sources for local wildlife, thus promoting biodiversity.
  • They adopted proactive management methods such as collecting and preserving traditional varieties that have good adaptability, appropriately controlling invasive species, managing wetlands and rivers, and maintaining the stability of local plant and animal communities.
  • The institute has fostered community participation through education and training farmers on how to adopt more environmentally-friendly agricultural practices. Since 2018, they have trained several small-scale local farmers to engage in organic farming, enabling them to work close to home.

“Our farms are proof that organic is possible and very beneficial. We are able to achieve this level of success thanks to organisations, like IFOAM – Organics International, which support organic farmers and practitioners worldwide by bringing them together to work towards a common goal of promoting organic through sharing best practicesscientific knowledge, and technical support.” Jianshe Zhao, Director of Henan Zhongyuan Organic Agriculture Institute.

Special thanks to Jianshe Zhao, Director of Henan Zhongyuan Organic Agriculture Institute, for working with us on this article © Henan Zhongyuan