China’s New Development in Rice Farming
Chinese Engineers Have Built Driverless Rice Transplanters
A driverless rice transplanter is at work in a paddy field in China.
Rice transplanting from nursery to field is one of the most labour-intensive and physically demanding farmworks in China, which requires the workers to bend their body to reach the wetland during the entire process.
The driverless auto-transplanters can surely free farmers from this hard work and improve productivity, therefore, reduce the need to import, often genetically modified, crops. So far, Chinese designed and manufactured driverless tractors specialised in wheat, veggie, cotton and fruits plantation have also entered test run stages.
Chinese Scientists Have Grown Salt Water Rice
Chinese scientists led by Yuan Longping have successfully cultivated hybrid salt water rice that can grow in deserts, tidal flats or other areas with heavy salt content.
In May, salt-water rice was planted 666 hectares of saline soil Shandong province and began to grow 666 hectares of rice in saline soil.
This is Taklamakan Desert in the country’s bleak and wild west near the ancient Silk Road. Historically, this is a vast wasteland. But Chinese scientists also start to plant salt-water rice in the desert margins.
It is estimated that about 33 (or 100, according to another source) million hectares of land in China is salt-affected, ranking the 3rd in the world. China plans to grow rice from 6 million hectares of saline soil in eight years and harvest 30 billion kg of crops on top of the current output, which will be enough to feed an extra of 80 million people.