China pushes technological innovation for agricultural modernization

BEIJING: China has been advancing its agricultural technology as a key driving force to boost its high-quality development.

This year, the country’s crop yield achieved another new record in history with more than 1.3 trillion jin (650 billion kilograms) despite rare disastrous weather, thanks to an array of significant technological innovations and governmental investment in crop production.

The summer crop, the first harvest of the year, yielded 292.3 billion jin in 2023, with a slight 0.9 percent drop, which still signified a bumper harvest year, as the country overcame the impact of the disasters, such as continuous rain in harvest months and regional flood and drought.

The country implemented a slew of policies, including continuing to raise the minimum purchase price of wheat, increasing the reward funds for major grain-producing counties and gradually expanding the scope of the insurance for wheat planting.

It also allocated 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) in funds to farmers who practice farming during the critical period of field management in spring, a one-time subsidy to protect farmers’ income from growing grain.

The government also allocated 3.7 billion yuan in agricultural disaster prevention and relief funds, including 2.4 billion yuan earmarked for “one spray, multiple boosts” during the critical period of autumn grain production, a critical technology to promote strong and stable growth of crops.

The nation has also applied technology to boost its crop yield and advance its production chain link by link. For example, 300 major counties producing soybean or corn in China have adopted high-density planting, which could boost the crop yield per hectare with an extra 1.125-2.25 tonnes. Experts estimate that the crop increase from these 300 major counties can contribute 73 percent of the total crop production increase.

Farmers harvest tomatoes in a vegetable greenhouse in Shouguang City, Shandong Province, April 25, 2023. /CFP

Farmers harvest tomatoes in a vegetable greenhouse in Shouguang City, Shandong Province, April 25, 2023. /CFP

Technological innovation in agriculture

The national agricultural science and technology progress contribution rate jumped to 62.4 percent in 2022 from 54.5 percent in 2012, showing robust support for high-quality agricultural development.

Technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), have been widely applied in crop production where precision seeding, smart irrigation, and drones for plant protection are in use.

The mechanization rate of crop cultivation and harvesting nationwide has exceeded 73 percent, and the number of agricultural machinery and equipment equipped with Beidou positioning operation terminals has reached 1.8 million units.

In Shouguang, Shandong Province, farmers can use their cellphones to monitor the growth of their tomatoes, and the IoT sensors installed in the greenhouse provide key data that can help farmers control the environment.

In south China’s Fuzhou, technicians patrol their farmland with a mobile application that alerts them about the illegal construction on their land.

Apart from upgrading the farming equipment, researchers also worked on cultivating new agricultural species. This year, the nation has independently cultivated 12 new varieties of white shrimp. Meanwhile, homegrown white feather broilers account for over 20 percent of the nation’s market.

A new type of rapeseed has been planted widely in Ji’an, Jiangxi Province. Wang Hanzhong, chief expert of the genetics and breeding team of the Oil Crops Research Institute (OCRI) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), said the new type has a shorter cultivation cycle which can substantially enhance oil production.

About 500,000 agricultural technicians nationwide have also been indispensable in ensuring crop production and crop increase.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Sanaullah says PTI founder is a political reality

Says neither ‘he could eliminate us nor could we, only we can sit and hold talks’ Claims he not seeing PTI’s founder out...