China's central Hunan Province is one of the country's biggest agricultural production hubs, and a town called Chunhua has been used for pilot projects since the 1950s. In recent years, the town has used high-tech methods to develop the local agricultural industry.
The methods were conducted in a comprehensive pilot demonstration zone, which covers an area of 200,000 square meters. By improving the quality of cultivated land, seeds, and planting methods, it hopes to improve product quality and yield per unit.
The results so far have been pretty good. The yield of summer rice this year has been more than 623.7 kilograms per mu (666.7 square meters), nearly 178.4 kilograms higher than other regular rice fields in the same area.
The zone uses various kinds of high-level technologies, including full coverage of eco-friendly pest control devices.
"This device uses both sex attractants and food attractants to kill insects. It's environmentally friendly and kills more pests than the traditional ones, that only use sex attractants," Zhao Zhenghong, president of Hunan Rice Research Institute, told CGTN while showing the pest control device.
The demonstration zone is built as a model to be replicated in other areas, currently using full mechanized production. Local authorities said this helps to relieve local farmers' workload.
"The mechanization of agriculture means that farmers can take care of fields more easily. In the past, a farmer could only plant a few Mu of fields, but now we have some farmers who can take care of several hundred Mu of fields by themselves," Luo Ao, deputy mayor of Chunhua Town, told CGTN.
Also, because of its great natural environment for agricultural production, and its long history in the local agricultural industry, Chunhua has attracted almost 20 agricultural research companies and institutions.
"We specialize in the breeding, production, promotion, and sales of new vegetable varieties. Each year, we develop 6,000 new types of agricultural products, and only five or six of them enter the market," said He Jiuchun, chairman of Peppera Seed Co., Ltd. – one of the agricultural research companies in Chunhua.
Local officials said they hope to develop a modernized agricultural industry. To do that, they not only create demonstration zones and attract institutions, but also educate modern professional farmers, as they believe talented people are key to development.