Walking in the greenhouses of the Jinxian Agricultural Development Smart Agriculture Project in the East of China, you are met with clusters of tomatoes hanging on the branches. Outside the greenhouse, Liu Zian, the project leader, is remotely controlling the equipment in the greenhouse via his mobile phone.
"The heating, drip irrigation system, and sulfur fumigation equipment in the greenhouse can be controlled anytime and anywhere on the mobile phone." According to Liu, the total investment of the Jinxian Agricultural Development Smart Agriculture Project is about 200 million RMB, and the planting area is 62,200 m2. It was officially completed and put into production in October last year.
The greenhouse uses the Internet of Things and an intelligent automatic control system for water, fertilizer, light, and temperature. Liu Zian sees the system as the brain of the entire greenhouse: "If terminals such as mobile phones, tablets, car monitors, or watches are connected to the internet, the system can alert us if an abnormal situation arises."
In the smart agricultural project, the advantages of technology are directly reflected in the output. "With this system, all the hardware and software facilities in the greenhouse are regulated according to the growing needs of tomato plants to create an optimal growth environment for the plants. The output of tomatoes per m2 can reach 75 kg, which is about 5 times that of a traditional solar greenhouse,” Liu Zian said.
Liu Zian said that, in mid-September this year, another 80,000 tomato seedlings were transplanted in the greenhouse, covering an area of over 4 hectares. "Our tomatoes are in the ripening period and will start to turn red next week. We think that the first harvest will be carried out by the end of November." Liu Zian is confident in this year's output: "The overall growth of tomatoes is good, and the output is expected to exceed 1,800 tons," Liu Zian said.
For Liu Zian, there is still a lot to be done to develop smart agriculture. "It not only greatly increases yield, saves manpower, material resources, and planting costs, but more importantly, it ensures the quality of the products. The fruit tastes good and fresh, and, of course, it is more popular in the market."
Liu Zian said that they are currently preparing for the second phase of the project. "We plan to start construction at the end of the year to build multi-span solar greenhouses of more than 30 hectares, plant peppers, ginger, and other crops, and build a popular science experience pavilion to let more people understand smart agriculture."