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China Prioritises Farming Technology

China has stepped up technology support for winter wheat, soybean and corn farming to help stabilise crop yields and ensure supplies, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Technological services should be promoted to help farmers solve problems and popularise advanced technologies.

Five provinces – Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan and Shaanxi – will receive technical guidance from expert teams dispatched by the ministry, as floods swept these regions last autumn and brought pressure on crop harvests this year. Online training courses have been offered to more than 800,000 people via the National Agricultural Technology and Education Cloud Platform, according to the ministry.

Chinese policymakers fully understand that the future of China’s agriculture sector lies in agricultural modernisation, and the key to advancing agricultural modernisation lies in the development of technology. All are crucial imperatives for China and therefore cited in the 14th Five-Year Plan.

Current agricultural policies are aimed at improving the quality and nutrition of crops, which means teaching farmers how to maintain yields without overusing fertilizer and pesticides. China has articulated a vision for the future of agriculture. The nation must improve the quality of arable lands by using high-quality farming infrastructure and techniques.

This is why building a modern agricultural eco-system is important and where the digital and technological platform can make a huge difference, one example being that China can now provide information on local weather patterns and weed and insect threats to enable farmers to confidently increase yields and reduce pesticide use.

With modern agriculture platforms and smart farming technology including drone and satellite imagery and pattern modelling, China can provide farmers across the country the support they need, turning farmers’ mobile phones into intelligent environmental tools and resources. These transformations are already taking place and will help Chinese farmers quickly leapfrog into modern, highly efficient agricultural techniques. At the same time, reduce the use of fertilizers, pesticides and save water.

With the help of agri-tech and a new business model that is driven by digital innovation through the entire agricultural value chain, small farmers can benefit from a huge and supportive ecosystem.  And for the consumers they ultimately serve, the system can also solve their pain points. Modern agriculture digital services enable full product traceability, giving consumers the ability to scan a code to see information on farm location, harvest date and sustainability.

Making agricultural production more sustainable and environmentally friendly, while digitally connecting farmers to the consumers who consume their food, not only represents the trend for Chinese agriculture, but also the future of global agricultural development. It is important to carry out and expand farmer training and capacity building projects all over the world, using scientific and technological research and development to help farmers quickly respond to the problems encountered in agricultural production, including how to combat climate change, abnormal weather, and other challenges.

According to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China will improve efforts to create higher yields and higher quality production of major food crop varieties, and self-sufficiency in major livestock and poultry varieties by 2030 by deploying technology, as reported by OpenGov Asia. China released an action plan to promote the national seed industry late last month in Sanya, South China’s Hainan province, where the Nanfan Scientific and Research Breeding Base is located.

The plan lays out the necessary theoretical, scientific and technological developments for the industry to improve seed varieties and grain yields, and ensure the protection of national germplasm resources. Since the beginning of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), China’s ability to innovate in breeding technology has continued to rise. However, China is still in the process of developing breeding theories and key technologies.

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