China tests replacing farm laborers with machines

Zhejiang province is one of China's most affluent provinces and it has been chosen as the location to pilot the strategy of replacing farm laborers with machines. 

Zhejiang agricultural department confirmed on Monday 10 Oct., that the province has set a timetable of becoming a paradigm of modern agriculture by 2020. 

Currently, farm machinery is widely used in grain and oil production in the province. The target is to mechanize vegetable and fruit growing, animal husbandry and aquatics. By 2020, Zhejiang hopes to fully mechanize around 270,000 hectares of farmland. 

In aquaculture, feeding and monitoring will be automated. Mechanical equipment will substitute humans in almost all of the fruit and vegetable growing process.

Li Peng, an official with Zhejiang Agricultural Machinery Bureau, said the use of machinery could help solve the shortage of farm laborers in China's coastal regions and improve farming efficiency. 

The province, home to Alibaba, will take advantage of its Internet facilities to set up 100 "smart farms" to showcase how technology can assist farming.


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