‘Small Lawn, Big Business’

Reporting from China

JIANGSU, China: The lawn care industry is one of the most lucrative green businesses in Houbai Town of Jurong in Jiangsu province.

Under the leadership of the Houbai township party committee and local government, along with close collaborations with top agriculture universities to develop the lawn industry, farmers have greatly benefited in terms of income from growing and selling lawn grass.

The selling price for lawn grass has been standardised by the local government to ensure farmers receive fixed income and prevent companies from buying the commodity at a lower price.

The beautiful view of the planted lawn.

Dubbed ‘Small Lawn, Big Business’, the lawn grass was initially planted in Xi Feng Village. The village presently has a population of 2,100 from 563 families.

Houbai Town has 21 administrative villages with a population of about 70,000. The planting area of the lawn grass in the town has reached more than 30,000 Mu (2,000 hectares) and the average household income has increased by more than 5,000 yuan in recent years.

Since the year 2000, Houbai Town has successively implemented two phases of the project with 10,000 hectares of good farmland and it had also intensified the adjustment of the agricultural industrial structure, vigorously developed the lawn industry and formed a demonstration zone with 666 hectares of lawn in Houbai Road as the core area.

An officer explains on the lawn industry.

After more than 20 years, Huobai’s lawn grass has been sold all over the country. It has been used for the Beijing Olympic Games, Shanghai Expo and Nanjing Youth Olympic Games — including sight-seeing areas.

In 2017, the town sold nearly 4,000 square metres of lawn grass and sales reached 350 million yuan. With this, it has become the largest green lawn planting base in East China and even the whole country.

The development of the lawn industry has not only made farmers rich, but also promoted the rapid development of related industries.

Houbai Town of Jurong is a national 5A scenic area and the holy land of Taoism. It is located at the west foot of Maoshan, 35km from Nanjing Lukou International Airport and 45km from Nanjing South Railway Station. It is on the Ningghang eco-economic belt with a total area of 160 square kilometres.

Media representatives from various organisations from Sarawak were in Houbai Town to learn about the lawn industry.