MARA Releases Guidelines to Accelerate the Development of Facility-Based Agriculture and Horticulture
by Lea Siebert
Prof. Liu Yonggong
Advisor of Agribusiness Dialogue (DCZ)
1 July 2020
On 27 June 2020, MARA released official guidelines to accelerate the development of facility-based agriculture and horticulture. The document points out the importance of facility-based horticulture technologies and equipment for securing the “vegetable basket” and for increasing farmer’s income.
The document set up the following goals: (i) until 2025, more than 2.0 million ha of plastic and solar greenhouses as well as multi-span greenhouses will be constructed and equipped with modern facilities, machines and intelligent and digital technologies; (ii) develop and replicate an equipment and facility design and manufacture system, construct an effective social service system for facility-based greenhouse production of vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbal medicine plants, and pursue to achieve 50% of mechanization rate in facility-based horticultural production.
For achieving these goals, the following key countermeasures are highlighted in the document:
- Promote the standardization of facility construction tailored to regional ecological conditions. MARA will develop regional ecosystem-based architectural standards for guiding the greenhouse infrastructure construction in Southern China, Northern China, Northwest and Southwest China and in the high plateau region.
- Standardization and optimization of greenhouse spatial layouts suitable for mechanization. The layout should reserve spaces for installation and operation of machines, equipment and facilities and for optimizing horticultural production spaces. New materials and facilities will be introduced to reduce energy consumption and to control pollution and waste emissions.
- Promote production mechanization: machines and facilities for seedling cultivation and transplanting, for fertigation, plant protection and for saving water resources, will be developed and applied in the whole process of horticulture production;
- Accelerate the application of digital and artificial intelligent technologies in horticulture production. Digitalization and mechanization will be integrated and applied in the greenhouse production. artificial climate and temperature control system, automatic fertigation system, intelligent monitoring and control of crop growth, etc., will be developed and installed.
Strengthen the comprehensive social services for facility-based horticulture production. The government will encourage and facilitate individual households to establish machinery cooperatives, strengthen the machinery services to individual households, encourage greenhouse owners to form production cooperatives, provide technical services to small greenhouse owners throughout the whole production lifecycle，such as in design and construction of greenhouses, supply with seedlings, renting machines and equipment, etc.
Watermelons grow in a plastic greenhouse in
Zhouqu County, Gansu (Source: Gansu Daily)