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Urbanization to lift machinery sector

By An Baijie | China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-19 05:37

China's rapid urbanization will bring more opportunities for the development of the agricultural machinery industry, according to the chairman of the nation's leading tractor maker.

Zhao Yanshui, chairman of YTO Group Corp, said that demand for new types of tractors will surge along with the process of urbanization.

Zhao said that he was impressed while visiting a showcase of urbanization where 10 villages were merged into one big residential community in Xinzheng, Henan province.

The local residents were moved from their traditional single-story homes to five- or six-story buildings, making a large amount of land available for agricultural and commercial development, Zhao said.

"The previous scattered farmland became a large area after the borders of villages were removed, creating an area that is suitable for large agricultural machinery to operate in."

YTO is researching more types of multifunctional vehicles to meet the needs of urbanization. For instance, it has developed a type of sprinkler that could run on narrow and uneven roads in suburban areas, Zhao said.

During the Central Economic Work Conference held in December that set the tone for this year's economic development, the central authorities vowed to promote the process of urbanization.

Zhu Zhixin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said that the urbanization process provides a potential driving force for China's economic growth, according to a report in China Business News.

Many suburban regions will experience rapid urbanization over the next few years, but most remote rural areas are unlikely to be urbanized within a short period as there are few job opportunities, said Zhao.

Jiang Weidong, board chairman of Shandong Wuzheng Group, a manufacturer of motor tricycles and other agricultural vehicles, said that the company plans to make more garbage dump trucks for the suburban and rural market.

Suburban and rural residents have become increasingly concerned with their living environment including street cleaning and garbage disposal, Jiang said.

YTO is developing tractors that women and elderly farmers may find easier to operate, given the fact that many young men are migrant workers and their wives and elderly parents are left to tend the farmland, Zhao said.

Most of the company's newly developed tractors are fitted with power-assistance devices, which make them easier to steer, he said.

The company also plans to develop more types of vegetable-processing machinery, according to Zhao.

"In many developed economies, vegetable selection and packaging are completed at farms, but in most parts of China, these procedures are done at the market," he said.

anbaijie@chinadaily.com.cn

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