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5.Advancements in Agricultural Science and Technology

DATE:2009-06-07       SOURCE:
 

5. Advancements in agricultural science and technology

 

5.1 Agricultural mechanization. Since reform and opening-up, agricultural mechanization in the country has made fast progress. In 2006, with annual growth rate of 6.8 percent, the total power of agricultural machinery reached 726 million kilowatts or more than 6.1 times that of 1978. At present, mechanized operations of ploughing accounts for 55.4 percent, sowing 32.0 percent and harvesting for 25.1 percent, or 17.4, 23.2 and 23.0 percentage points higher than 1978, respectively. Farm machinery are widely put into farming operations like rice production, maize combine harvesting, dryland water-saving farming, putting straws and stalks back to farmland as fertilizer and for comprehensive utilization, food drying at producing places and animal husbandry production, so are equipment and facilities for farm produce processing and agro-aviation. Agro-mechanization has produced immense effects. Especially, the Farmland Reclamation and State Farms Sector has higher mechanized level. The large and medium-sized farm tractors and combine harvesters that the sector has account for 5.4 percent and 4.1 percent of the national total, respectively; and the rate of mechanized operations of ploughing, sowing and harvesting are up to 85.2 percent, 71.3 percent and 55.8 percent, respectively, contributing to an aggregated mechanized operation rate of 70.7 percent. In addition, the sector has 62 agro-airplanes for wide range of use such as sowing, spraying leaf fertilizers and herbicides, integrated pest management as well as for forest fires control.

 

Improvement of Chinese Agricultural Production Conditions

 

Year

 

 

 

 

Total power of agro-machinery

(0.1 billion kwt)

Rural electricity consumption

(0.1 billion kw)

Irrigated area

(10 000 ha)

Chemical fertilizer application

(10 thousand tons)

1978

1.1750

253.1

4496.50

884.0

1980

1.4746

320.8

4488.80

1269.4

1985

2.0913

508.9

4403.60

1775.8

1990

2.8708

844.5

4740.31

2590.3

1995

3.6118

1655.7

4928.12

3593.7

2000

5.2574

2421.3

5382.03

4146.4

2001

5.5042

2609.8

5429.44

4253.8

2002

5.7930

2993.4

5435.50

4339.4

2003

6.0447

3432.9

5513.50

4411.6

2004

6.4140

3933.0

5447.87

4636.8

2005

6.8549

4375.7

5502.94

4766.2

 

5.2 Advancement in agricultural science and technology. From 1978 to 2005, agricultural science and technology in the country have made great accomplishments. The share contributed by agricultural science and technology to agricultural growth has increased from around 20 percent to some 48 percent, of which crop farming 42.4 percent, forestry 31.4 percent, animal husbandry 50 percent and fisheries 45 percent. Science and technology have become primary driving forces for agricultural development, reflecting in the following four aspects. Firstly, in terms of agricultural research, scientists have developed a large number of new varieties of crops, and breeds of livestock, poultry and aquatic. At present, the coverage ratio of improved seeds of major farm crops is up to 95 percent, laying a sound foundation for improving the overall agricultural capacity and for increasing farmers’ income. Especially, the breaking through made in research on super rice has contributed to the increased paddy rice yield of over 12 tons per hectare. Secondly, in terms of planting system improvement, farming practices of inter-planting and relay inter-planting crops like grain/oil crops, grain/cotton or grain/vegetables have been developed, and a “vertical planting” pattern of multiple-crop and multiple-layer cultivation created for making full use of space resources. Thirdly, in terms of crop farming, many advanced and operational techniques have been widely applied, such as the use of plastic film nursing, mulching, greenhouse cultivation, dryland nursing of paddy rice, light transplanting, and rice seedling throwing for transplanting. The farming practice of plastic film mulching is extensively applied to more than 40 farm crops like grain, cotton, oil seeds, melons/gourds, vegetables, sugar and tobacco, contributing to 15-20 percent of increased output. And fourthly, in terms of fertilization application, soil testing for formula fertilization campaign has been launch. It has not only helped promote the increased grain production, cost-effective farming operations and sustainable development, but also promoted the changed concept of farmers of fertilization, and the innovated systems of fertilizer production and marketing.

 

Percentage of Scientific and Technical Contribution to Agriculture (%)

Year

1953

-1957

1958

-1965

1966

-1970

1971

-1975

1976

-1980

1981

-1985

1986

-1990

1991

-1995

1996

-2000

2000

-2005

Percentage of Scientific and Technical Contribution to Agriculture

19.9

2.3

15.4

26.7

34.8

27.7

34.3

45.2

48.0

 

5.3 Education and training of farmers. The Chinese government puts much emphasis on vocational education and technical training of farmers as well as the promotion of transfer and application of achievements of agricultural science and technology. To this end, the government has launched many activities since 1990s, such as the Combination of Agricultural Research, Technology and Education Programme, the Green Certificate Project, the Trans-Century Young Farmer Training Project, the Training Plan for New Types of Farmers, and the Sunshine Project for Training Rural Labours to be Transferred. These activities have also improved their quality scientifically and technologically as well as their production capability, promoted the integration of science and technology with productivity, allowing them to have more opportunities to get better off and providing them with strong technical support for increasing income.

 

Percentage Change of Educational Level of Rural Labours (%)

Year

Rural labours (10 thousand)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illiterate or nearly illiterate

 

Primary school

 

Junior high school

 

Senior high school

 

Technical secondly school or above

 

1983

34690

35.50

36.13

22.37

5.72

0.27

1985

37065

27.87

37.13

27.69

6.96

0.35

1990

42010

20.73

38.86

32.84

6.96

0.61

1995

45042

13.47

36.62

40.10

8.61

1.20

2000

47962

8.09

32.22

48.07

9.31

2.31

2001

48229

7.69

31.14

48.89

9.65

2.63

2002

48527

7.59

30.63

49.33

9.81

2.65

2003

48971

7.39

29.94

50.24

9.68

2.75

2004

49696

9.56

34.49

44.99

9.15

2.83

2005

50387

6.9

38.2

49.3

5.0

0.6

 

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