Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Tongling White Ginger Plantation System in Anhui Province, China

GIAHS since 2023

China is a major producer of ginger in the world, accounting for 42.5% of the global ginger planting area and 74.5% of the global ginger production in 2019. Tongling people have long cultivated an indigenous species: white ginger. Based on the difference in characteristics and growing environments between ginger and rice, locals have developed an ecological planting pattern for white ginger. This pattern can improve the utilization of water and land resources and optimize the efficiency of plant disease control. Unique ginger-cultivating methods have been invented, including “Ginger-Pavilion for Seed-Preserving and Germination-Accelerating”, “Planting with High-Plot and High-Ridge”, “Shed for Shading”, etc. Characteristic ginger cultures have been fostered, such as, ginger planting, ginger food, ginger gifts, belief in Ginger God, Ginger Zen, etc. These elements constitute a particular system of agricultural heritage: Tongling White Ginger Plantation System in Anhui Province.

The earliest record of Tongling white ginger can be traced back to the Western Han Dynasty (202 B.C.~8 A.D.), i.e., a planting history of more than 2,000 years. As early as the Northern Song Dynasty (960~1127), the techniques of ginger-rice, ginger-wheat, and ginger-vegetables rotations already prevailed in the Tongling region, as well as the techniques of Candied Ice Ginger making and Ginger-Pavilions for Seed-Preservation and Germination-Accelerating. Tongling ginger had its heyday in the Qing Dynasty (1644~1911) when ginger cultivating techniques like “Bamao (Miscanthus floridulus) Shed for Shading” were detailed in books; ginger products, such as candy, vinegar, sauce, and salt, etc., were popular throughout China and Southeast Asia.

Flickr Album

CHINA - Tongling White Ginger Plantation System