Increasing the economic value of terrace products

Published: 05 October 2020
Last edited: 05 October 2020

Red rice is the local traditional rice species in HHRT and the “rice-duck-fish” is a traditional ecological farming model which fosters biological and cultural diversity. With the assistance of governments at all levels, local authorities promote red rice cultivation and encourage ecological production with the “rice-duck-fish” system. They have announced preferential policies, and are providing a platform for cooperation with agricultural research institutes, guiding farmers to plant high-quality red rice with high market prices, restoring traditional ecological agriculture symbiosis model, and ensuring that farmland food is safe to serve as table food. Through promotion and event planning in collaboration with cooperatives, products such as red rice, terrace-cultivated fish, terrace-cultivated duck eggs are increasing the income of farmers and boosting their enthusiasm for terrace cultivation.


Large enterprises have been involved in the development of a red rice industry and brand through high-quality rice processing, setting up professional cooperatives, and adopting a large-scale business model of “companies + cooperatives + bases + farmers.” Related services, crafts and e-commerce are encouraged to promote designated villages, such as Yakou.


Legal and policy frameworks, policy advocacy
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • Policy support, including subsidies, incentives and directions to improve the economic value of agricultural products. 
  • Protection of basic farmland and traditional farming methods in the face of cash crop cultivation and impact of modern farming technology.
  • Development of a new model of agricultural industry adapted to the market which guarantees for the continuation of the traditional rice cultivation.
  • Diversification of agricultural industry attractive to workforce.
  • Development of online shopping, logistics, branding and sales market.

Lessons learned

  • Transportation is the main constraint for developing the local economy in remote areas, although encouraging the cultivation of traditional agricultural products and improving their economic value have achieved initial success. Profiting from transportation development and e-commerce platforms, the sales of agricultural products have increased. However, the vitality and sustainability of the rice terraces can not only rely on this, it requires an overall social and economic development to create more work opportunities for younger generations and ideas to sustain the rice terraces. 
  • In a modern market economy, the model of “companies + cooperatives + bases + farmers” requires a standardized product quality and follow obligatory market rules. Due to the small-scale peasant economy, products collected from different families have various quality, which is a disadvantage for large-scale production.

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