Professional farmers in SW China make spring farming intelligent

A farmer moves a seedling starter tray in Pengshan District, Meishan, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. (Photo by Wang Mingfeng/People’s Daily)

On a sunny and warm day of mid-March, Wang Chenglin was working with his fellow workers for sprout cultivation as spring farming kicked off in his hometown Jinzhu village, Pengshan District, Meishan, southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

Machines were humming in a greenhouse for sprout cultivation. On their conveying belts, soils were packed into seedling starter trays were being packed with soil, watered, and sowed on the conveying belts of the machines. After being taken off from the belts by forklifts, these trays had to went through week-long pregermination and then placed in the fields.

Such a modern method cultivates around 400 mu (about 27 hectares) of seedlings each day, said Wang, adding that the germination is also great and matches perfectly with mechanized transplanting.

At present, the man, leading a cooperative, is working on the sprout cultivation for over 10,000 mu of paddy fields. According to him, such a workload can be finished by around 10 workers within a month.

The cooperative has nearly 60 sets of harvesters, tractors, seedling machines and transplanters, the man said. In recent years, the cooperative has shifted its business mode from mechanized farming to whole-process rice cultivation entrustment. The growers can entrust their paddy fields to the cooperative and claim the crops after harvest in the next year.

At present, the cooperative is planting over 10,000 mu of rice each year, with a yield per mu of around 650 kilograms.

Pengshan District is piloting a national incentive scheme for professional farmers and a provincial plan that encourages cultivating more professional farmers. In recent years, local authorities have been working on the establishment of a training system for professional farmers, encouraging farmers to be engaged in professional farming. It has trained a total of 1,000 professional farmers, including Wang. They are injecting new energy into rural vitalization.

Every year, the district offers all kinds of training courses on policy reading, techniques, and industrial development to continuously enhance the ability of professional farmers, Wang told People’s Daily.

Since establishing the cooperative in 2011, Wang has been focusing on mechanized rice planting under the guidance of relevant departments. “I hope I can learn more about marketing, so that I can extend my business chain. At the same time, I will keep working on mechanization and strive to make better rice,” he said.

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