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China eyes advanced machinery to achieve self-sufficiency in agriculture

By Zhao Yimeng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-01-12 20:39

Wu Kongming, president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China is poised to beef up efforts of developing advanced agricultural technology and becoming more independent and powerful amid international competition, senior agricultural officials and experts said on Wednesday.

Wu Kongming, president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said during a work conference that the academy will focus on the scientific and technological research on seeds, arable land, agricultural machinery and biosecurity.

China will promote actions and cultivate varieties to increase yields, especially making breakthroughs in the output of soybean and oil crops, he said.

China still lags behind some countries in grain yields. For instance, the country's corn yield is 60 percent of that in the United States and soybean yield doesn't reach 60 percent of the US. The yields of rice and wheat were both lower than the highest level in the world.

The development and application of agricultural machinery is expected to improve, reducing the reliance on import of smart and cutting-edge equipment.

As vegetable seed accounted for the largest volume in the import of seeds, with some varieties fully relying on other countries, China will boost the development of technologies in vegetable farming.

Zhang Hecheng, Party chief of the academy, said China's overall level of agricultural science and technology will move into the world's leading group, driving the trend of global development, and making major contributions by 2050.

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Last year, China added more than 65 million yuan ($10.2 million) of funding in international collaboration projects.

A soybean laboratory jointly initiated by China and Uruguay was included into the lab building list of the Belt and Road Initiative. 

Meanwhile, 88 funding projects for overseas study have been approved as the academy has been seeking international cooperation in agricultural science and technology, Wu said.

China also plans to promote agricultural cooperation in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. 

The country will strengthen the training and introduction of international talent while enriching the channels for selecting and sending outstanding agricultural talent to go abroad for exchange and study.

"We will organize international conferences and seminars on agricultural science and technology to further improve the academy's influence in the world," Wu said.

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