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Technology can keep rice bowl in country's hands

China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-10 07:07

Farmers harvest wheat grown from Jimai 44 seeds in Tengzhou, a county-level city in Zaozhuang, Shandong province. [Photo by Li Huizhi/For chinadaily.com.cn]

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 COVID-19 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. High-precision 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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