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17 April 2024

Smart technologies, 5G shaping China's future agricultural modernisation


As China intensifies its efforts to modernise the agricultural sector, the future of agriculture in the country is being shaped by the integration of smart technologies and the deployment of the 5G network.

According to China Central Television, prioritising agriculture and rural development has been a key focus for the central authorities in China. The government has designated initiatives related to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers as its foremost concern during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

To advance agricultural modernisation, China has rolled out a series of measures and pushed forward rural reform across the board in recent years, making breakthroughs in some key areas.

China has continued to strengthen the construction of agricultural infrastructure. Farmland is a cornerstone of food security, and plays a crucial role in the ecosystem and green agricultural development. The country has developed over one billion mu (about 66.67 million hectares) of high-standard farmland, which helped increase grain production capacity by 10 percent to 20 percent per mu.

The total mileage of rural roads in China has reached 4.6 million km today, and all qualified towns and villages have hardened roads. More than 80 percent of administrative villages have access to 5G networks.

In China, scientific and technological innovation has become a major driving force of agricultural modernisation, with the contribution rate of agricultural science and technology progress exceeding 63 percent. The self-sufficiency rate of crop sources in China exceeds 95 percent, and more 2.2 million sets of agricultural machinery installed with China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System terminals and nearly 200,000 plant protection drones have been applied across the country.

The introduction of modern science and technology has made traditional agriculture more efficient and effectively improved agricultural production methods. Nationwide, the rate of mechanisation in crop plowing, planting and harvesting rose from 67.2 percent in 2017 to 73 percent in 2022. Helped by increased contributions from agricultural machinery and technology, China secured a grain harvest of over 650 million tonnes for the ninth consecutive year in 2023.

China is also stepping up the construction of a modern agricultural industrial system. At present, a total of 289,000 village-level comprehensive delivery and logistics service stations and 75,000 refrigeration and fresh-keeping facilities in production areas have been built across the country, allowing the faster reach of fresh agricultural produce to big markets.