Wei Lingling, president of Beijing IEDA Protected Horticulture Co., Ltd., has earned the nickname of "Vegetable queen" after she started a successful organic agricultural business in China around a decade ago.
Wei's business includes an industrial planting and cultivation facility, as well as a popular healthy food restaurant.
Wei is also a deputy to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and a researcher in agricultural environment and sustainable development at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
She was originally inspired to start her business by observing the industrial-scale cultivation of fruit and vegetables in the West.
Industrial farming means growing crops in a controllable indoor environment and reducing the risk of pests and disease.
In 2010, she brought her concept of Family Plant Factory to Shanghai Expo, where it attracted much attention. She later took this business idea and opened a creative restaurant in a shopping center in the Zhongguancun of Beijing.
In her mind, Zhongguancun is the Silicon Valley of China. In this restaurant, vegetables can be served just four hours after being picked.
The restaurant was soon featured on the tech channel of CCTV (Central China Television). "Now we sell vegetables to Quanjude, the most famous roast duck restaurant. Their customers are wrapping sliced duck with our lettuce instead of traditional pancake, as it's more nutritious and it tastes better!”
Wei is also an outstanding researcher. In 2017, she led the research and development of a program called LED Light Control System and Light Environment of Plants, which had won her a National Science and Technology Progress Award.
To Wei, modern agriculture is more a living style than an industry. "Can you imagine green plants growing on roofs, in kitchens, basements, offices and anywhere you want? How wonderful it will be!”
As the Chinese government promotes the country's rural vitalization strategy, agricultural technology has become increasingly popular.
“There's a need in the market to transform scientific research achievements to products and services. This will strengthen technological benefits to the people," Wei concluded.
(Source: womenofchina.com / Translated and edited by Women of China)