China is stepping up research into agricultural technologies to preserve the food supply in the world’s most populous country. New scientific advances, from new varieties of rice to technology that improves soil fertility, are also helping to solve the global food crisis.
The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has released a plan to promote key topics during the period of the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) to enhance its agricultural science and technology innovation. By 2020, the contribution rate of agricultural technology development to China’s economic growth rate had reached more than 60%, and the coverage rate of improved varieties of crops had reached more than 96%.
Scientists also look at the sky. They used space lotuses to help farmers in Jiangxi Province improve their production. Some research should also benefit people around the world. Chinese scientists are using genome design technology to improve the plant’s reproductive speed and reproductive efficiency. Initial research has shown excellent performance.
Thanks to a succession of bumper harvests in recent years, China has benefited from an abundant supply of important agricultural products and has ensured basic grain self-sufficiency and absolute grain security. The government is committed to strengthening the fundamental role of science and technology in agricultural production.
In light of national conditions and the needs of the people, science-based and results-oriented efforts will be made to consolidate weaknesses. The development of agricultural machinery and equipment will also benefit from government support as the country strives to use technological innovation to improve the quality and efficiency of the agricultural sector.
According to Statista, around 25% of the Chinese workforce works in agriculture, but the sector is largely based on small family farms and in many cases it is still quite old-fashioned. Partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global food shortage is increasing and China has known for years that there will be a resource battle in the future to feed the world’s largest nation. One of the responses also supported by the national government is to use technology to optimize production.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is high on the national agenda, but is mainly applied in sectors such as finance, healthcare and smart city solutions. A report made it clear that agriculture was one of the industries most left behind in smart technology, but also one of the areas with the greatest potential for upgrading.
China will improve its efforts to create higher yields and better quality production of major varieties of food crops, and self-sufficiency in major varieties of livestock and poultry by 2030 by deploying the technology, as reported. OpenGov Asia. China released an action plan to promote the national seed industry late last month in Sanya, southern China’s Hainan Province, where the scientific breeding and research base of Nanfan.
The plan sets out the theoretical, scientific and technological developments necessary for the industry to improve seed varieties and grain yields, and to ensure the protection of national germplasm resources. Since the start of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), China’s ability to innovate in breeding technology has steadily increased. However, China is still developing key breeding theories and technologies.
China will introduce 50 major tasks focused on major plant and animal varieties, and three specific actions involving innovative research, seed enterprises and the creation of a science and technology platform. China will strive to achieve high-yielding, high-quality self-sufficiency in food crop varieties by 2030 and ensure absolute security of the country’s rice and wheat.
By 2030, the self-sufficiency rate of vegetable varieties, such as broccoli, carrots and spinach, will rise from the current 10% to over 50%. In addition, a platform will be built to boost seed industry technology, integrating basic research, technological innovation, variety creation, big data and industry incubation.