Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Xinghua Duotian Agrosystem




Site location: Xinghua Duotian, Jiangsu, P.R.China

Area of GIAHS: 312 Km2, among which the central area is 40 Km2

Population working for this system: 170409 persons

Topological Characteristics: Low-lying wetland raised field ecological zone

Climatic Classification: Subtropical humid monsoon climate

Ethnic Groups/Indigenous People: Mainly Han, but also Zhuang, Miao, Dong, Hui and Li people

Primary Income Sources: agriculture


Xinghua Duotian agrosystem is a world-level wonder for its unique water-land utilization method in low-lying land and its splendid raised field landscape. In the past thousands of years, in order to fight against floods, the ancestors in Xinghua built wooden structure to support field, raised mud into small stacks, and formed the original raised field.

They developed a unique way of water-land utilization and turned water area and wild land into cultivable land constructing fields by digging up and stacking the sludge in the marshland to form ridges on which the local farmers can plant crops, vegetables etc. It’s a unique pattern presenting a typical compound agriculture-forestry-aquaculture model including traditional farming practices for watering, fertilizing and seed selection.

Nevertheless, this agrosystem is facing great threat as a result of potential floods caused by lowering raised field, destruction brought by urbanization and construction, larger impact of modern agricultural technology, as well as inadequate personnel and financial support.