HANGZHOU, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- China will bid to inscribe its centuries-old freshwater pearl farming as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System, a world heritage equivalent.
Work for filing the application to the United Nations's Food and Agriculture Organization is being prepared by the county government of Deqing, where in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), local man Ye Jinyang developed the freshwater pearl farming technique.
According to a local archive, 5,000 households in Deqing depended on the farming technique at that time.
In the 18th century, foreigners travelling in China picked up the technique and brought it to the rest of the world.
In 1967, Shen Zhirong set up Oushiman Group in Deqing to develop freshwater pearl farming and expand the industry nationwide.
Deqing in eastern China's Zhejiang Province is still China's largest freshwater pearl production base, with output of freshwater pearls nearing 100 tonnes in 2016, about 10 percent of China's total.
In July, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture added Deqing's freshwater pearl farming to China's list of most important agricultural heritage.