The story appears on

Page A4

April 2, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Last downtown farmers leave the land forever

A CHANNEL of water flows sluggishly through the little green patchwork area, carrying plastic bags, cigarette box and weeds; it can barely be called an irrigation system.

Nor could the tiny pieces of land dotted around be called "farmland," were it not for the sight of elderly women tending their vegetable plots.

"Farmers? Huh?" said one woman, working hard to pull up weeds. "Hardly. We don't have much land now."

And soon they will have none. The countdown has begun for the 1,000-square-meter area of farmland - the last of its kind within the city's Inner Ring Road or "downtown area"- as the land will be used for a residential complex and public facility as soon as September.

The land belongs to several households in Pudong New Area's Jingnan Village.

"We grow the vegetables mainly for our own use," said an woman, surnamed Wang, in her 70s, whose family owns a 100-square-meter plot. Their area of land used to be 10 times bigger. Wang and other households divided the farmland, as well as a big three-story farm house that overlooks the land.

"Granny Wang," who declined to give her full name, recalled the simpler rhythms of the past when she would spend hours in the plot, planting seeds, weeding and harvesting green vegetables.

Then she would return home and slice newly harvested vegetables for dinner.

But now the village has changed dramatically with many locals moving out.

In recent years, fewer people have worked the land as farmers get older and young people, lured by jobs in the city, reluctant to take over.

It's been said the elderly farmers will receive ample compensation; one large family is believed to be getting several apartments in Pudong - good news at a time when house prices are soaring.

Wang looks set to be kept busy, as she reveals that her granddaughter recently gave birth to a baby girl.

"I think I have another job now," she said, smiling.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend