As one of the science and technology special key projects of the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05), “water-saving agriculture” is needed to deal with the relatively underdeveloped state of water-saving agricultural technology that is holding back the creation of a modern water-saving agricultural system.
China is chronically short of water. Agriculture is both a large consumer of water and a sector with the most potential in water saving. However, water-saving agriculture lacks the key technology and basic equipment, as well as an industrialized technological support and service system. A highly effective agricultural technological system constantly expanding to meet the varied needs of the different agricultural categories in China has yet to be established. The fundamental way of dealing with the water shortage in agriculture lies in scientific and technological development that can create an efficient water-saving agricultural mode.
The goal is to establish a modern water-saving agricultural technological system with Chinese characteristics to increase the utilization rate of water resources in agriculture and utilization efficiency of moisture content in crops, as well as agricultural production results. The project has three aspects, including the frontier and key technology of water-saving agriculture; research, development and industrialization of key equipment and major products; and technology collection and demonstration. This highlights the organic combination of biological, agronomic, engineering and administrative water saving, and enhancing the renovation collection and industrializing demonstration of new water-saving agricultural products and related technology.
On completion of the project, according to a Xinhua News Agency report, the general level of China’s water-saving agricultural technology will reach the international developed level of the 1990s, with about 100 modern water-saving hi-tech products developed, 20 to 30 massive water-saving agricultural equipments and manufacturing enterprises established, and 10 to 15 modern water-saving agricultural technology collection and demonstration zones launched.
(china.org.cn by Zhang Tingting, August 12, 2002)