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China Daily Website

Technology ensures safety

Updated: 2012-08-07 14:53
By He Na ( China Daily)

The old Chinese proverb says, "For a country, people come first. For the people, food comes first".

High-tech grain depots under the direct management of the State Council play a major role in ensuring grain safety, but few people have ever entered one of these facilities.

On a July morning, I got the chance to visit one of China's top modern grain depots in Jilin province, where an almost military security regime exists.

The depot - covering 160,000 square meters and with a storage capacity of 130,000 metric tons - is located in a city suburb and its two tall drying towers can be seen from afar. The yard is huge and clean, but people are seldom seen walking around it. If the sign didn't hang on the perimeter, the place could easily be mistaken for a military zone.

Following a technician, I climbed a metal ladder to the top of the depot's largest barn and took in the view across the interior. Huge hills of grain glittered like gold in the morning sunlight

Two computer screens in the center of the room displayed variations in temperature, moisture and ventilation. If the readings exceed the specified levels, alarms ring to notify the management team.

All the barns are equipped with 24-hour computer monitoring, high-level ventilation equipment and special insect-control systems.

From the tower, I saw several large fans installed in different places. They're used to ensure that the temperature remains ambient even in the hottest seasons. As a result, the grain rarely spoils and losses are minimal.

The director told me that wheat, rice and oil are also stored at the facilities to be used in the event of emergencies. He declined to provide details of the amounts stored because that information is a State secret.

The State Council decides when to sell grain or replenish the stocks and the director simply executes that order. "My duty is to keep the grain safe and reduce losses to the lowest level," he said.