Chinese village 'draws' cartoon characters on rice fields

A handout photo. A cartoon image is on display in a rice paddy in Zhaolou village, Liuzhuang town, Henan province, as part of an effort to attract tourists and boost rice sales.
PHOTO: China Daily/Asia News Network

Giant cartoon images such as Japanese anime characters Doraemon and Pikachu can be seen from the air in a rice paddy in Zhaolou village, Liuzhuang town, Henan province. The pictures amaze tourists and help increase income for residents.

Transformed into a huge art canvas, the paddy, a national-level 3A scenic spot, is part of a pastoral rural landscape adorned with galsang flowers, lotus pools, fish ponds and nearby residences.

The paddy paintings will be displayed until October, when the rice will be harvested and the background color will change from green to yellow.

Liuzhuang is rich in rice production, with soil loaded with selenium and irrigation water drawn from neighboring Boshan Lake. The local government built the paddy into a park in 2014 as part of an effort to boost both cultivation and tourism. The cartoon pictures have enhanced its reputation and promoted sales, Jia Wenbing, the town's mayor, told Dahe.cn.

"Our rice is now sold to clients as far away as Jiangsu province and Shanghai. The price rose from about 4 yuan (S$0.80) to more than 20 yuan per kilogram," Jia said. "The paintings not only upgraded our brand but also have made the locals rich."

In the area surrounding the paddy, a modern ecological industrial park is under construction, with a planned area of 33.3 square kilometres. It will include rice planting areas, chicken and eggs production, and vegetable planting and picking.