China fosters innovation in dryland agriculture

By Guo YingYu Fei

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- China will promote the basic research and application of key technologies for dryland agriculture during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), according to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).

Dryland agriculture plays an important role in ensuring food security, ecological protection and poverty reduction in China. It provides 43 percent of the country's grain and more than 75 percent of beef and mutton supply, said Mei Xurong, vice president of the CAAS and a leading expert on dryland agriculture.

China has made remarkable scientific and technological progress in dryland agriculture during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), Mei noted. More than 40 percent of the wheat grown in China is drought-resistant and water-efficient, reducing the water consumption for agriculture.

China has introduced and cultivated more than 70 drought-resistant and high-yield varieties of crops. A series of agricultural facilities including intelligent irrigation and fertilization system, biodegradable plastic films and soil preparation machines have also been developed, Mei added.

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