Agriculture is one of the pillars of the Chinese economy, and innovation in this area plays a vital role in ensuring the country has enough food to feed its people. According to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, there have been significant technological breakthroughs in China's farms in recent years. CGTN's Luo Yu brings us this report from central China's Henan Province.
China has a great and tough task – to feed a population accounting for 21% of the world's total by utilizing an area of farmland that takes up only 9% of the world's total.
The task is even harder for central China's Henan Province. It only has one sixteenth of the country's arable farmlands, but it's responsible for one tenth of China's grain output.
But with the rapid development of innovation in the field of agricultural science, the endeavor is becoming easier.
PROF. GUO TIANCAI HENAN AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY "In recent years, the provincial government has prioritized innovation of agricultural science and technology. We've made progress in areas such as new and more varied breeding techniques, high-yield cultivation methods, formula fertilization by testing soil, pest and disease control, and many others. Additionally, our grain output reached 120 billion tons last year. That's one tenth of the country's total."
Professor Ru Zhengang is China's leading agricultural scientist famous for his expertise in breeding new species of wheat.
He's helped more than one million rural households out of poverty. His Aikang-58 species has increased China's wheat output by 12 billion kilograms, and his innovative idea has helped cultivate a high-yield wheat that can make better use of light energy, when compared to other species.
PROF. RU ZHENGANG 19TH CPC NATIONAL CONGRESS DELEGATE "We combined the wheat leaves with dark color and thick leaf blades to produce high-yield wheat. Light is essential in wheat production. I assumed the leaf with a dark color can make better use of dim light, while the thick leaf blades are more capable of capturing strong light. Our experiments proved correct, which then led to a huge increase in output, while also serving as a good platform for future hybrid wheat research."
LUO YU ZHENGZHOU, HENAN PROVINCE "Technological innovation in agriculture is not only about breeding. Breakthroughs are also expected in other areas, such as in irrigation systems. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that agriculture consumes vast amounts of ground and surface water. So modernizing irrigation practices not only helps in reducing the amount of water needed, but also boosts crop yields and production."
In central Henan's Xuchang, a 200-meter long computer-controlled sprinkler has been in operation for more than three years.
Lao Shang no longer needs to worry about hiring people to help with farming.
SHANG SHUIWANG FARMER "For many years, we used a traditional flood irrigation system. It wasted a lot of water and it could only be used on a very small area of farmland. The local government installed this sprinkler system for me for free. It has a sensor that reads the soil's moisture, and then can decide how much water to sprinkle."
Many more innovative technologies are being applied throughout Henan Province.
Innovation within the sector of agricultural science and technology is essential for ensuring long-term food security, and promoting environment-friendly and sustainable development.