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Smart farming advances China's modern agricultural development

Zhou Shijie, a tomato grower in Zhengding County, north China's Hebei Province, is adopting a new approach of utilizing computer data to decide when to water or fertilize his plants.

"Air humidity 55 percent, soil temperature 27.9 degrees Celcius, and soil pH 6.1," read Zhou from a screen showing real-time data captured from sensors installed in his plastic greenhouse for tomatoes.

"By looking at the data, I can tell when my plants are thirsty for water or hungry for fertilizer," said Zhou.

Zhou is one of the farmers in China to have witnessed a transformation in farming in recent years, relying on digital data rather than individual experience.

China is pursuing modernization in its agriculture and rural areas at a fast pace.

A key official document released earlier this week, the "No.1 central document" for 2023, said China will strengthen support for agricultural science, technology, and equipment this year.

According to the document, China will continue to pursue digital development in rural areas, explore different scenarios for the application of digital technology, accelerate big data development, and advance smart agriculture.

In addition to helping farmers come up with watering and fertilizing plans, smart technology also reduces agricultural losses by identifying plant diseases and pests.

Zhou grows a variety of tomato known as cherry tomato, which is vulnerable to fungal diseases.

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