[CGTN]China Agriculture Innovation: Advanced technology and new methods bring stability to agricultural industries, help improve food security
Ensuring a stable food supply while modernizing the agriculture sector has been a key part of the government's path to modernization. Our reporter Omar Khan takes us to central China's Hunan Province, and gives us a glimpse into the technology that's enabling farms to perform better and to be more efficient.
From farmland to a crop breeding lab, for Xiangyan Seed Industry, a high-tech agriculture company, science and new technology are driving and transforming traditional farming practices.
These sprouts will eventually turn into peppers, corn, eggplants and other vegetables. And the focus on food security is going beyond these labs, spreading through much of Hunan Province's fertile land.
TANG QIYUAN, Scientist, China Agriculture Research System, Hunan Agricultural University "Changsha is building four bases for grain production, with one focus on advanced technology. It also includes high quality and high yield output. The aim is to improve the level of food production while also gradually introducing modern agricultural technologies to farmers. Over time, it's transformed from small to large scale."
Through a mix of integrated technologies, fertilizers and pesticides, these rice fields in Changsha County have seen a near 39 percent year on year increase in yields. Nationwide, grain output hit a new high in 2022, once again topping 600 million tonnes. But much of that comes down to the work and advances being made across local farmlands.
OMAR KHAN, Changsha, Hunan Province "China has 128 million hectares of arable land, with around half of that area developed as high-quality farmland for grain and other key agricultural products. And with twenty percent of the world's population relying on farms like this for a stable food supply, it's no surprise that innovation and technology are playing increasingly significant roles."
Every year, 50 million yuan is invested into the seed industry here in Changsha County. These funds go directly to agricultural R&D projects, accelerating the cultivation of crops and livestock. It's perhaps no longer about the ploughs and rakes, but about innovative techniques that make the country's agriculture sector competitive both domestically and globally.
YIN YULONG, Principal Investigator, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences "Modern science and technology such as intelligent breeding are crucial. We can save on labor and improve efficiency. If we use robots to raise livestock, we reduce contact with humans, therefore reducing the occurrence of diseases. Biotechnology is also important. Using fermented microorganisms as feed additives can improve the quality of agricultural products."
China has laid out a blueprint for securing its bottom line, to ensure national food security and avoid large scale re-emergence of poverty. Farmlands like the ones here in Changsha County are only a small fragment of the efforts being made across the country. But every advance and every step forward they make, will ultimately play a pivotal role in China's process of modernization.(CGTN)