-- Interview with Shen Jianqiang, Secretary of the Party General Branch of Miaotou Village, Pingwang Town, Wujiang City, Jiangsu Province
Interviewee: Shen Jianqiang, Secretary of the Party General Branch, Miaotou Village, Pingwang Town, Wujiang City, Jiangsu Province
Interviewer: Xiong Yihan, a young reporter for Travel & Leisure
In July 2022, Xiong Yihan, a young reporter for Travel & Leisure, interviewed Shen Jianqiang, Secretary of the Party General Branch of Miaotou Village in Pingwang Town, Wujiang City, Jiangsu Province, who introduced the practical experience and gains of Miaotou Village in implementing the Central Government's rural revitalisation strategy and answered questions raised by the young reporter.
Miaotou Village has a total area of 5.47 square kilometres, plus a water surface area of 66.3 square kilometres, with 18 natural villages, a total population of 3,230 people and 31 village groups. In the past, the development of Miaotou Village relied solely on agriculture, with a relatively single industry and a lack of clear positioning and development direction.
Revitalising resources and promoting multiple industries
Since 2017, in response to the rural revitalisation strategy of the Central Party, Miaotou Village has started to carry out unified planning for its positioning and development direction, making full use of its own resources and introducing professional teams and social forces to make solid progress and achieve obvious results, making Miaotou Village present a vibrant and vigorous development scene.
In 2017, Miaotou Village invited a tourism research institute from Zhejiang University to re-plan and reposition the development of Miaotou Village, fully integrating the existing resources and highlighting the advantages, forming a fruit, fishery, green, mulberry, rice multi-industry and flourishing momentum.
In terms of orchard development, Miaotou Village has planned a section of Fruit of the Source, one of which is rated as a provincial farm in Jiangsu Province and has also received key support from the village. Its development goal is to achieve four seasons of fruit, and related advanced modern greenhouses and spraying systems are also under construction. Another cherry picking garden is also being expanded and the feedback from the market has been very good.
The fishery sector is planned to be called the Source of Fishing, which includes areas such as Hougang, and will develop fishery resources as well as rural tourism. The fishery sector is closely integrated with the health sector to develop rural recreation in Miaotou Village, and not just for the elderly, but in a broad sense of health and leisure.
Miaotou Village has a collectively operated rice field called Green Source, and Miaotou Village has also launched a brand of rice called Changyangli, which is complemented by an agricultural machinery centre and drying centre to complete rice processing, as well as a display of farming culture. Experiencing rice planting when it is planted and harvesting when it is bountiful has become a very popular project for group building and parent-child guests.
Miaotou Village also has a section called Mulberry Source, which is mainly in cooperation with the listed company Huajia Group to create a science education base, with a planning area of more than 600 mu, the first phase is 350 mu and is under construction.
Secretary Shen also summarised several successful experiences in the development of Miaotou Village: firstly, unified planning, the transformation of the entire Miaotou Village was firstly started after a unified planning and design by a professional team to ensure that the whole transformation has a clear line, avoiding detours and repeated construction; secondly, the introduction of professional teams and social forces, which can more efficiently, faster and more professionally promote the implementation plan of each block; thirdly, the full use of the integration of cultural tourism Thirdly, the integration of culture and tourism can be fully utilized to create a rural culture and tourism industry chain with mutual support of multiple industries, so that the rural revitalization project can enter a virtuous cycle of development. For example, the village's beautiful countryside project was limited to the transformation of infrastructure and did not form the common development of multiple industries, so the results were single and limited. However, after the entry of the partner company, the village company introduced the unified planning of rural cultural tourism development and developed multiple industries, forming mutual support and development between industries, which brought a continuous development momentum to Miaotou Village.
Retaining nostalgia and moving into the future
One of the problems that needs to be faced in the transformation of the village is how to deal with the issue of conservation and development, not that development is necessarily a major demolition and construction, nor that conservation means remaining unchanged. Miaotou Village shows us a vivid case in this regard.
The transformation of Miaotou Village has a complete set of ideas for the integration of rural culture and tourism, creating a complete industrial chain of rural culture and tourism projects, which is a very important reason for the success of Miaotou Village.
Secretary Shen said that after the partner village entered, a whole village renovation and natural village renovation concept was put forward. Secretary Shen very much approved of this concept, and the key to this concept is that the renovation should have an overall idea, and the original vernacular should be maintained while renovating, instead of building a brand new showpiece with no historical heritage and no humanistic atmosphere.
Guided by this concept, the renovation of Miaotou Village has preserved some of the villagers' houses, while at the same time some of them still live in their original houses and environment, maintaining the original countryside atmosphere, so that visitors can interact with the villagers and feel the villagers' way of life and joy of living. In addition, in terms of house renovation and new houses, Miaotou Village also has a unified style management to ensure that the appearance and style of these houses are generally consistent with the whole village, so that the original village atmosphere of Miaotou Village can be well protected.
The village revitalisation project in Miaotou Village has achieved very good results. Not only has Miaotou Village been revitalised and its economy has been developed, the livelihood of the villagers has also been significantly improved, and a very good positive interaction has been formed between the village revitalisation project and the villagers.
On the one hand, the village revitalisation project has improved the industrial structure of Miaotou Village. Some industries that were polluting and inefficient have been eliminated or renovated and replaced by environmentally friendly, sustainable and efficient businesses; on the other hand, it has brought more employment options and good economic benefits to the villagers of Miaotou Village. A good example of this is the B&B in Miaotou Village, where villagers can be employed in situ and earn a good income at the same time. This has also attracted many villagers who were previously working and employed outside the village to return, further providing human resources for the development of the B&B in Miaotou Village. With the increasing variety of businesses and projects in Miaotou Village, more and more villagers are attracted to return and more and more guests are brought in, which further promotes the further development of B&B in Miaotou Village. virtuous circle.
After the recent development in the past few years, Miaotou Village has become an important node in the characteristic rural village positioned by Wujiang, and has also been named as a key village of rural tourism in Jiangsu Province. Looking forward to the future development of Miaotou Village, Secretary Shen is confident that while further deepening and expanding the various projects in Miaotou Village, he will also radiate to the surrounding area and drive the development of the other 18 natural villages, so that everyone will have a more beautiful environment, a richer economy and a happier life.