Northeastern province makes headway on rural front

By Zhou Huiying and Tian Xuefei in Fujin, Heilongjiang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-27 08:21
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A traditional Korean dance is performed in Zhongxing village, Xi'an district, Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang. CHINA DAILY

Liu Jianguo, director of the comprehensive agricultural service center at Qixing, a State-owned farm that is part of Jiansanjiang Co, a subsidiary of Beidahuang Agricultural Reclamation Group, said the farm boasts some 70,000 hectares of arable land for growing rice.

Since 2016, the farm has invested 80 million yuan ($10.9 million) in science and technology to change from traditional to modern agriculture, and then to intelligent agriculture.

"We have set up 200 monitoring points, 20 small weather stations and 20 sets of groundwater monitoring devices on our farmland," Liu said. "The big data provided will be sent to an information platform in real time for use in managing rice growth and enhancing brand value.

"We also use modern technology such as the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, 5G, the internet of things and big data, along with environmental awareness to integrate deeply with traditional agricultural machinery technologies. We have achieved unmanned agricultural machinery operations for the entire process of rice farming, planting, managing and harvesting in our experimental rice fields, and our agricultural mechanization rate has reached 99.3 percent."

The Beidahuang Group has set up six unmanned experimental rice fields and is testing a range of new and advanced technologies, including the use of automated tractors and rice planters, remote video monitoring and control, and real-time displays of data and the movement of agricultural machinery. These measures are expected to save 25 percent of the cost of labor and agricultural materials.

The name Beidahuang is synonymous with the fertile region that includes the Sanjiang Plain, located alongside the Heilong and Nenjiang rivers in the north of Heilongjiang.

In 1947, before the People's Republic of China was founded, a group of military cadres from Yan'an and nearby Nanniwan in Shaanxi province led troops to this fertile region to develop what would later become the first State-owned farms.

In 1976, the Heilongjiang Agricultural Reclamation Bureau was founded, which in 2018 became the Beidahuang Group, marking a transformation from State management to a mix of collectivization and enterprise.

Thanks to generations of effort and sacrifice, Beidahuang has seen rapid rises in annual grain output — from 2,400 metric tons when it began farming to 22.56 million tons last year.

At the group's No 290 Company, 1,500 advanced agricultural machines, including a number of large ones equipped with the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, have been brought in for this year's harvest. The company has bought 30 machines from well-known companies such as Case, Claas and John Deere this year.

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