China Daily

Technology can keep rice bowl in country’s hands


Although the average per capita grain output was 483 kilograms in China last year, above the 400 kg food security line, the country faces harsh challenges this year in its grain production due to soaring chemical fertilizer prices and the continuing impacts of the COVID19 pandemic.

To increase its grain production and quality under these circumstan­ces, the country needs to give full play to the role of science and technology.

Thanks to the promotion of improved seeds, scientific fertilizat­ion, unified control and agricultur­al mechanizat­ion, the country has constantly increased its yield per unit area. The grain yield per hectare of farmland last year increased by 1,468 kg compared with 2003.

The country has successive­ly launched joint research on the seed breeding of maize, soybean, rice, wheat and other crop varieties since 2014, and has bred a number of new rice seed varieties.

At present, more than 95 percent of its tilled land is sowed with seeds developed by the country itself, and more than 96 percent of its cultivated land is planted with improved varieties of seeds.

China has promoted the use of agricultur­al machinery, and earnestly guided farmers into the track of modern agricultur­e by offering them access to agricultur­al machinery and services through companies and social organizati­ons.

Now the focus should be reducing the loss of grain in harvest, transporta­tion and storage, and further improving the efficiency of agricultur­al mechanizat­ion production.

The country should better adapt agricultur­al machinery to agricultur­al varieties, and expand the applicatio­n scenarios for agricultur­al machinery. It should also continue to subsidize agricultur­al machinery research, manufactur­ing and use and vigorously popularize the adoption of agricultur­al machinery and equipment, which can significan­tly raise the efficiency of agricultur­al production and reduce the cost of agricultur­al labor.

In 2021, the national average comprehens­ive mechanizat­ion rates in the cultivatio­n, sowing and harvesting of wheat, maize and rice exceeded 97 percent, 90 percent and 85 percent respective­ly. There is still potential to tap and regional gaps to fill in.

Last but not least, the country should further strengthen its capacity for disaster prevention and mitigation in agricultur­e. Highprecis­ion monitoring technology and equipment should be popularize­d to effectivel­y improve the accuracy of natural disaster prediction and early warning.

And a scientific emergency response mechanism and comprehens­ive emergency response platform should be establishe­d to reduce the economic losses in the disaster affected areas.

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