China, Canada explore farming
China’s prominent experts and investors in agriculture are bringing their techniques of digitalized, high-tech farming to Canada.
A seminar titled Feast of Agriculture was held at Vancouver’s 1029 Café on Oct 3. The hall was filled with an enthusiastic audience and the seminar ran for five hours.
Speakers included big names in China’s agricultural industry: Wang Hang, vice-president of agribusiness giant New Hope Group; Lan Hai, president of Beijing Automatic Control and Smart Machine Co; and Professor Zhang Ming from China Academy of Building Research. All three gave presentations from their unique perspectives.
As an expert in agribusiness investment, Wang talked about the evolution of China’s agricultural industry over the past 30 years. He said that people working in the Chinese farming industry today put their emphasis on quality over quantity, and the industry had entered an era of collaboration and digitalization.
“People working in the industry are looking for three things — efficiency, value and sustainability,” said Wang, “and technology is the key that helps us to solve problems, reduce costs and achieve these goals.”
Wang’s briefing was followed by Lan’s presentation, which offered a specific solution to a problem that farmers in China and other parts of the world face today.
“The industrialization of agricultural production raised productivity exponentially, but it only does harm to the system of microcirculation,” Lan pointed out.
“It is therefore necessary to take farm management to the next level by intellectualizing the ecological cycle, so that farming can be far more efficient and eco-friendly.”
This intellectualization process, according to Lan, would rely largely on the synergy between mobile Internet, the Internet of Things technology and cloud computing.
With these advanced technologies, Lan and his company proposed a model of farmers supplying fresh vegetables directly to communities in the Greater Vancouver area, which got the attention of quite a few audience members who run vegetable farms locally.
“I’m really looking forward to introducing the intellectualized management system to my farm,” said Ma Ji, a young farmer from Saskatchewan.
Professor Zhang’s presentation gave the insight of a recent groundbreaking progress his team has made in the field of greenhouse technology. By conducting scientific research and making field trips to six countries around the world, including Canada,
Zhang and his team managed to apply green building technology to the construction of solar greenhouses, and reduced energy consumption significantly by more than 90 percent.
“We now have designed a conceptual greenhouse suitable for the area between 45 degrees North and 50 degrees North in China,” said Zhang, “and I am confident that the model will work for Canada’s British Columbia and Saskatchewan, which are of similar latitude.”