China: Smart agriculture promoted at CIIE fair

The wider application of digital technologies is driving China’s agriculture industry toward higher efficiency and an ecologically friendly path, according to experts in the field.

The agricultural committee of Shanghai’s Jinshan District showcased its smart plant factory that was built in partnership with the BOE Technology Group. The space, which covers an area of 1.8 hectares, has a maximum seedling capacity of 500,000, is automated, and is equipped with an AI-powered plant growth optimization system.

The system will use photos taken by automated guided vehicles to track the growth stage of the hydroponic vegetables and adjust environmental parameters like temperature and humidity, Li Zhisheng, deputy director of the committee, said during an online briefing at the China International Import Expo. China has been stepping up the digitization of its agriculture sector over the past few years. The country expects the agricultural digital economy to account for 15% of its agriculture value-add by 2025.

The initiative will also increase the efficiency of the agriculture industry by controlling light exposure, temperature, humidity, and watering levels, according to Li. “The seedling period, which typically takes 30 days in an outdoor environment, was cut by half in a better growth environment,” Li said, adding that all the vegetables produced are pre-ordered by residents who live nearby.

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