Laixi smart agricultural town to begin operating in May
Construction on a smart agricultural town with a total investment of 7 billion yuan ($1 billion) is now being accelerated in the Laixi Economic Development Zone in Qingdao.
Covering an area of 180 hectares, the town will be jointly operated by China Triumph International Engineering Co, Haofeng（Qingdao）Food Co, and Aliyun, the cloud computing brand of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.
Local officials said that the town, which will involve modern agriculture, new materials, and agricultural sightseeing, will begin operating in May and inject new vitality into Laixi's high-quality development and rural revitalization.
Its modern agriculture sector, which has received 3.19 billion yuan in investment and covers an area of about 66.67 hectares, will adopt the most advanced greenhouse technology from the Netherlands to build smart green houses.
It will use Aliyun's big data technology to control growth factors such as light, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide, and make use of modern planting methods such as soilless cultivation to turn traditional greenhouses into "vegetable factories" that can produce high-quality agricultural products with uniform standards.
The town's annual sales revenue is expected to reach 600 million yuan after its greenhouses begin operating.
"We've already received a number of large orders from Hema Fresh, a fresh food chain backed by Alibaba Group, online fresh food platform Miss Fresh, and various supermarkets," said Ji Chengbo, the project manager.
The new materials section of the town, which has a planned area of 46.67 hectares, will consist of a pharmaceutical glass park that includes a research center and an academician workstation.
"This new town will break the international technology monopoly of neutral pharmaceutical glass and make China the fifth country after Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan to produce neutral borosilicate glass," said Ji.
Agricultural sightseeing facilities will also be built, covering an area of 66.67 hectares.