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supporting agriculture and urban supporting rural development. This paper overviews the re-
cent development state of China’s agricultural mechanization and equipment manufacturing
industry. Precision agriculture as an information and knowledge-based management concept
in farming has been practiced in China in the last 6 years. Precision farming practice and tech-
nology innovation activities and ideas on the further promotion are also briefly reviewed and
discussed in this paper.
Keywords: Promotion of agricultural mechanization, farm machinery industry devel-
opment, ICT for agriculture, precision agriculture

Since the beginning of the new millennium, China’s agriculture has started a new de-
velopment phase. The comprehensive ability of agricultural production has been enhanced by
a big margin; grain production has realized the transition from a long-term shortage to a gen-
eral balance and surplus in bumper harvest years; and, the issue of food supply for the whole
country has basically been solved. China has become the largest grain and meat production
country in the world. Adjusting the agro-industry structure, improving production efficiency,
increasing farmers’ income, and improving ecological environment have become the pre-
dominant tasks. To actively promote the transformation of traditional farming into an indus-
trialized operation and to develop agro-industries with a high commodity rate, a high value-
added rate, and a high foreign-exchange earning rate have drawn a great attention in the de-
velopment. Improvement in farmers’ income should be transformed from mainly relaying on
increasing yield and price into relying on adjusting the agricultural structure, speeding up ur-
banization and developing diversified economic activities, especially non-agricultural indus-
trial activities. The next 5 – 15 years will be the key period for China’s social and economic
development to lay foundations for inheriting the past and ushering in the future. The country
will smoothly promote industrialization and urbanization to support a rapid growth and a sus-
tainable development of the national social economy. The promotion of agricultural mechani-
zation has become an important driving force for agriculture and rural economic development.
A new law entitled “State Law on Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization” was adopted in
last June and effective as of November 1, 2004. It requires that all government bodies above
the county level should add the promotion of agricultural mechanization to the national and
social development plans and gradually increase financial support to the development. China
is starting a new period featured with industry supporting agriculture and urban supporting
rural development.

This paper overviews the recent development state of China’s agricultural mechaniza-
tion and machinery manufacturing industry, the challenges and opportunities for speeding up
the further development. The ideas for promoting agricultural mechanization and vitalizing
equipment manufacturing industry are needed and discussed for technological and system
management innovation and international cooperation enhancement. The ICT advances have
smoothly changed many technologies in agro-industry. Precision agriculture as an informa-
tion and knowledge-based management concept in farming has been practiced in China in the
last 6 years. Precision farming practice and technology innovation activities and ideas on the
further promotion are also briefly reviewed and discussed in this paper.

ISBN 5-88890-034-6. Том 1.

The agricultural development in China since the mid-1990s has shown a great chal-
lenge in crop production systems to ensure the increasing grain supply security and sustain-
able development of the national economy. The facts of grain production and farmers’ income
in crop production systems were featured with sustained reduction of grain production, de-
crease of grain planting areas and slow improvement of crop producers’ net income. The gov-
ernment has adjusted the social and economic development strategy and adopted a series of
strategic measures to promote agriculture and rural economy development since 2003, includ-
ing giving top priority to solve “agriculture, rural and farmers’ problems” in the National So-
cial & Economic Development Program; balancing urban and rural economy development;
speeding up strategic re-adjustment of agricultural and rural economy structure, and reducing
farmers’ load by reforming rural tax systems and adopting preferential subsidy policies di-
rectly for producers. In 2004, there was reducing farmland’s tax of US$3.6 billion, providing
subsidies for adoption of improved seeds and farm machinery and subsidy for grain producers
with US$1.8 billion. The total investment to agriculture from central government was in-
creased from US$14.46 billion in 2003 to US$19.88 billion in 2004. The annual increased
rate reached 37.5 %. It was this reason that activated the enthusiasm of grain producers and
got a bumper harvest of total grain output of 469.47 mil. tons in 2004 in comparison with 430
mil. tons in 2003. The farmers’ net income turned over in 2004 from many years’ lower than
5% and got an increase of 6.84% in 2004. The market demand of agricultural equipment was
shifted toward production process mechanization with large- & middle-scale power. The gov-
ernment announced that China is starting a new period featured with industry supporting agri-
culture and urban supporting rural development. Twenty-six of the 31 provinces/autonomous
regions in the country have announced full exemption of farmland taxes since the State Law
was effective on 1st Nov., 2004. Currently, the average agricultural mechanization level in the
country is still low. The comprehensive field mechanization levels (2004) are: tillage - 47 %;
sowing - 27 %; harvesting - 20 % in 2004. The mechanization levels of sowing, planting and
harvesting by main crops (2004) are as follows:
Sowing / planting Harvesting
Winter wheat 78 % 75 %
Paddy Rice 6.16 % 23.6 %
Corn 48.24 % 2.03 %
The new State Law on promotion of agricultural mechanization targets at speeding up
development of agricultural mechanization and providing an aid to support producers and ru-
ral service organizations with advanced and appropriate machinery. It mainly refers to as R &
D in development of machinery products, quality insurance of machinery products, technol-
ogy extension & application, socialized service system development, and policy on subsidy
and investment support. The State Law requires that all government bodies above county
level should add the promotion of agricultural mechanization to the national and social devel-
opment plans and gradually increase financial support to the development.
The recent trends of agricultural mechanization and equipment industry development
are characterized with: 1). Sustained increases of farm power-use; 2). Great changes in market
demand structures for farm power consumption; 3). Fast increase for mid- and large-scale
tractors and implements demand; 3). Increase of export and import of farm machinery; 4).
Expansion of mechanization service from field production to pre- & post harvest treatment &
processing, from grain crops to cash crops, and from grain crop production to horticulture,
livestock, forestry, etc. The rapid development of mechanization service systems has played
an important role in promotion of farmers to adopt mechanized operations. There are 32.14
million various service organizations and 38.36 million professionals providing mechaniza-
ISBN 5-88890-033-8. Экология и сельскохозяйственная техника. СПб, 2005.

tion services in rural areas with a total income of US$29.4 billion in 2004. Over 410,000
combines and harvesters involved in the trans-regional wheat and rice harvesting services.
To realize overall agricultural mechanization in China still requires strong efforts. The
mechanization of wheat production has been popularized and maturated. The conservation
tillage promotion has been fast extended in semi-arid areas. The neck-bottle technologies of
paddy rice planting and harvesting mechanization have achieved a breakthrough and a fast
extension in recent years. The development of maize and oil seed harvesters in coincidence
with renovation of the traditional agronomic technologies is still facing a great challenge. The
key technologies of mechanization in cash crops, facility horticulture and livestock production
systems still need to be investigated and developed. The challenges include lower farmers’
income and weak purchasing capability of producers, unavailability of various machinery to
meet marketing demands, and insufficient technical innovation capability in R & D. The pri-
orities for further improvement of agricultural mechanization and machinery technology in-
novation should be emphasized on conservation tillage, precise sowing, sub-soil deep loosen-
ing, straw incorporation, water saving irrigation, maize harvesting, other crop mechanization
including rape seed sowing/planting and harvesting, cotton picking, sugarcane harvesting, tu-
ber crop planting & harvesting, mechanization in facility horticulture, forage, vegetable and
fruits production, etc. The agricultural mechanization services organization and specialized
farm households will continuously be developed in rural areas and become an effective way
to shift farmers into industry and increase farmers’ income.

China’s agricultural equipment industries have been gradually established since the
founding of new China. Currently, China can supply many kinds of farm power and imple-
ments according to the requirements of agricultural production and meet the marketing de-
mands for China’s agricultural mechanization, and has smoothly improved its competitive
power with smaller and lower-cost products in the international market. During more than 50
years’ development, a relatively complete agricultural machinery industry system, which cov-
ers scientific research, development, manufacturing, sale, services has been set up progres-
sively. It can be generally divided into four categories: 1). the scientific research and devel-
opment system combines scientific research institutes, universities, high education institutions
and enterprises; 2). the manufacture system consists of over 8000 products manufacturing en-
terprises; 3). the sale and service system combines enterprises and agricultural machinery sell-
ing corporation; and 4). the popularization and demonstration system combines the technol-
ogy popularization department of the agricultural machinery and enterprises. China is vast in
territory and the natural and economic conditions are different in various regions, which make
China’s agricultural machinery products complicated in categories and varieties. Now China
can produce 14 general classes, 95 sub-classes, and more than 3000 varieties of agricultural
machines. In recent years, with constant perfection of Chinese market economy and continu-
ous deepening of the system reform, agricultural machinery has gradually formed the owner-
ship composition of joint development of state-run, private and “three kinds of foreign-
invested” enterprises. The agricultural machinery enterprises are in large quantity with small
scale. According to the 2003 statistics of the State Statistics Bureau of China, there were 1469
enterprises (not including the production enterprises of diesel and irrigation and drainage ma-
chinery) with medium to large scales that had an annual sales’ income of over US$600 thou-
sand and employed a total of 410,000 workers. Only 4 of them had the annual sales’ income
over US$250 million. There are 181 medium- to large-scale enterprises in the trade of tractors
with the average sales’ income of US$11 million. The production capability of China’s agri-
ISBN 5-88890-034-6. Том 1.

cultural machinery enterprises is strengthened progressively. The total output value of the ag-
ricultural machinery industry was US$5.3 billon in 1992 and has increased to US$14.4 billion
in 2002. Its average rate of increase was up to 8%. The sale of agricultural machinery in 2004
has reached US$9.6 billon. China’s agricultural machinery products have been exported since
the middle period of the 1950s. Owing to their appropriate and practical performance in less
developed regions and their lower prices, Chinese small- & mid-scale agricultural machinery
products have good competition power in the international market, particularly in less devel-
oped regions. The industry will get continuous development and maintain its fast developing
state in the forthcoming years. China’s agricultural machinery manufacturing enterprises will
certainly meet crucial challenges with the foreign trans-corporation in the market competition.
China’s machinery enterprises must strengthen themselves constantly in order to possess the
ability to compete with the world-famous transnational agricultural machinery enterprises in
the international market and positively tackle the fierce market competition from world-
famous transnational agricultural machinery enterprises both at home and abroad. The export
of the agricultural machinery products has shown the growing situation in the recent years,
but the export proportion in the total output value is still small, up to about 10% by average. It
reflects the great gap, which still exists between the supply of Chinese agricultural machinery
products and the constantly-changing demand in the world. The manufacturing capability on
medium and large agricultural machinery with high added value and high-tech content in
China’s agricultural machinery industry is seriously insufficient. It can't meet the fast chang-
ing market requirement of agricultural and rural economy structural adjustment in the new
There is a great demand space in China for agricultural machinery. Recently, the Chi-
nese government has issued a series of policies which support the solving the problems facing
“agriculture, rural areas and farmers” and promote the increase of farmers’ income in order to
provide guarantee for promotion of agricultural mechanization. Specifically, the deductions
and exemptions of the agricultural tax and subsidy to the farmers engaged in cereal produc-
tion to buy larger and middle-scale machinery have obviously improved farmers’ enthusiasm
to adopt agricultural machinery. There is still a wide leeway for the improvement of the agri-
cultural machinery industry level. The production cost of Chinese agriculture is still high and
the farmers’ net income is low. Since the land scale is limited while the population is large,
the management is in small scale and not much advanced engineering equipment with new &
high technologies has been produced. The development of China’s agricultural machinery re-
quires strengthening international exchange and cooperation in the future. The current high-
speed economic development in China and the constantly deepening restructuring of the agri-
cultural and rural economy system have brought new opportunities for the scientific research
and renovation manufacturing industries of agricultural machinery. The new opportunities are
not only for Chinese R&D institutions and enterprises, but also open for global agricultural
machinery manufacturing industries. The Chinese market needs overseas advanced and ap-
propriate agricultural machinery and new technology. Multiple cooperative ways, such as
technology and advanced product importation, cooperative R & D on new technology and
machinery, extension of the advanced design and manufacturing technologies and enterprises
management, joint venture production and establishment of sole-funded factories, can be
adopted and investigated. There are 70 agricultural machinery sub-companies or joint-venture
enterprises established in China now. The partners and investors include John-Deere, New
Holland, Yammar, Kubota, Dong Yang, San Jiu, Jinzi, Valtra, Claas, etc. Products from these
famous manufacturers have started to be accepted by Chinese customers in recent years. The
successful cooperation between China and foreign enterprises has showed that the big Chi-
ISBN 5-88890-033-8. Экология и сельскохозяйственная техника. СПб, 2005.

nese market and the opportunity to get profits and benefits are open and attractive. It is really
worthwhile for all manufacturing companies over the world to catch and investigate the op-
portunity with the Chinese agricultural machinery section.

The rapid evolution of ICT in the past decades has created a good opportunity to reno-
vate agriculture and rural economy. It is convinced that the gap of the starting lines between
developed and developing worlds to use ICT for sustainable agriculture is much smaller than
that in other traditional industries and industrialized areas. The technologies and equipment
that are being used can be at the similar technical level and the cost of investment for con-
struction may be even cheaper than in developed regions. The technical transfer and knowl-
edge dissemination are now very easy to realize based on the opening global and local net-
work. China has adopted a strategy of leading its industrialization based on promotion of in-
formatization of national economy and social development.
Precision agriculture is regarded as an information revolution in agricultural systems
in the future. It is a management strategy that uses information technologies to bring data
from multiple sources to bear on decisions associated with agricultural production, marketing,
finance, and personnel. It targets to increase efficiencies based on more information and more
precise management, to increase productivity and add value of products and keep food safety
as well as to improve management with lower risks and environmental consequences of farm-
ing activities. The experiences in some developing countries have shown that as a new con-
cept to manage resources and production systems with information technology, precision ag-
riculture technology not only is suitable to large-scale farming, but also could be effectively
extended to improve small-scale farming and conventional agriculture reconstruction in de-
veloping countries through data collection at an appropriate scale, interpretation and analysis
of that data, and implementation of management plans at an appropriate scale and time as well
as with appropriate tools. The practice of precision agriculture concept is required for a mul-
tidisciplinary integrated approach. The highest possible accuracy is not always needed. Reli-
ability, cost, technical support and education to diverse conditions are the most important, and
the end users are key factors in the promotion. The concept of precision management of agri-
cultural production needs to be in the minds of the farmers, not only in the technologies. This
requires dissemination of the concepts and training of extension service personnel. Concepts
and infrastructure for this have to be developed and implemented by the support from the cen-
tral and local governments. Recent surveys show that the infrastructure of PA services is de-
veloping and the adoption by producers of some practices continues to increase. The applied
fundamental and development research is very important for the promotion.
After investigation and research development in the mid-1990s, China has started PA
practice in various regions. Some demonstration projects have been set up in suburbs of Bei-
jing, Shanghai and other large-scale reclamation farms in North and West China. Research
centers and laboratories have been established at universities and research institutions to pro-
vide R & D of appropriate technologies. PA has becoming a specific subject in Agricultural
and Biological Engineering (ABE) international conferences and workshops in China. The
first overall trial practice on PA demo-farm in China was set up in 1999. The project aimed at
assimilating advanced technology in the world and exploiting China’s own PA technology
system, demonstrating the function of high-tech in transporting traditional farming into mod-
ern agriculture, creating a window to show the system and supported technologies, and build-
ing a platform to conduct field soil surveying and testing of imported equipment, learning op-
eration skills for VRT equipment, and innovating appropriate technologies. The practices are
ISBN 5-88890-034-6. Том 1.

not only for PA development, but also benefit to expanding ICT development for agriculture
and rural development. However, there exist many problems in practical implementation. PA
is not just an injection of new technologies, but rather a concept revolution for production sys-
tem management based on ICT. Information and knowledge era provides a prospective oppor-
tunity to adopt a leap forward development strategy through promotion of the knowledge and
technical transfer from advanced countries. The most important is to digest the concepts,
knowledge and experiences to integrate appropriate technologies and development modules.
In China, a great attention has been toward developing domestic lower-cost technologies,
equipment and appropriate integration based on our own farming conditions. The recent R &
D projects in practice are conducted as follows:
1) Development of key technologies and equipment on applications of GPS, GIS and
RS for field spatial information acquisition, processing and positioning navigation for farm
2) Development of advanced sensing and data processing technologies and appropri-
ate low-cost tools for acquisition of field soil and water, crop status and yield information;
3) Development of computer aided knowledge systems and decision support systems
for farming and resources management.
4) Technical digestion, evaluation and rational operation of imported equipment and
system integration technologies and development of appropriate domestic ICT supporting
technologies and intelligent VRT farm equipment;
5) Development of intelligent monitoring and control systems for farm equipment
and appropriate system integration technologies with profit analysis;
6) Extension of technology, training and advisory services, etc.
In general, the precision agriculture development should be seen as an evolutionary
process. In the recent agro-industry reconstruction in China, the ideas of precision agriculture
as an information- and knowledge-based approach should be extended into intensive horticul-
ture, precision livestock farming and aquaculture, processing agro-products, as well as precise
business management for the entire food chain including product traceability and system
process documentation. The recent new trend of creation of agricultural product traceability
systems will rely on many precision farming technologies and information system support. It
would be fundamental to expand the precision agriculture concept and create information and
knowledge-based precision sustainable agricultural production systems. Actually, since the
mid-1970s, Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) has been established through animal specific
developments of several kinds, notably transponders for animal identification (now coded to
ISO standards); automatic animal weighing (now an application of image analysis); method of
controlled feed rationing and lately robotic milking. The livestock farmers will adopt new
technology if it meets their needs to high quality products in the economic ways. Public con-
cerns for animal welfare and for the traceability of animal’s life history have further broad-
ened the scope for both animal-specific and site-specific PLF. The orchard and forestry man-
agement requires site-specific and information-based precision management, the agro-food
sector needs to e-trade and optimize business management for goods flow, and the recent
RFID technology is initiating an individual-based product management and goods flow busi-
ness revolution. All these will support precision farming development. We are interested in
investigation of cooperative promotion of technological development and equipment innova-
tion to support PA practice with our Russian partners in the future.


ISBN 5-88890-033-8. Экология и сельскохозяйственная техника. СПб, 2005.

China’s agriculture has entered a new development stage for industrialization and
modernization. Agricultural mechanization and equipment industry, promotion of R & D and
technology innovation will have a favorable development environment. The sustainable de-
velopment of agriculture and food security and safety require and strongly widen the engi-
neering inputs and services. It will cover soil & water management, biomass resources exploi-
tation and utilization, renewable bio-based materials and energy development, precisely man-
aging farming process, advanced processing technology of bio-products and equipment
development, modern agro-industry management, etc. The modern ICT advances provide a
prosperous possibility for technological innovation to transform traditional agriculture into
modern agriculture and to serve full food chain & product traceability. Investigation of new
approaches and enhancement of intl. & regional technical transfer, technical & business coop-
eration will bring a great benefit to all partners.

Sincere thanks for the support of 863 High-Tech Project on “Research and Develop-
ment on Key Appropriate Technologies for Precision Agriculture” ( 2003AA209040) and
contribution of the research group in the Key Lab of PA Integration Research at CAU to this

1. Naiqian Zhang, Maohua Wang, Ning Wang, Precision agriculture — a worldwide
overview, Computer and Electronics in Agriculture, 36(2002) 113 132, Elsevier, The Nether-
2. Maohua Wang, Practices of Precision Agriculture in China and Perspectives for
Regional Cooperation, Proceedings of Seminar of Asia Precision Agriculture Sponsored by
National Agricultural Mechanization Research Institute, pp.5-16, February 15th, 2003,
NAMRI, Korea.
3. Maohua Wang, Practical Practice of precision agriculture and priorities to promote
technological innovation in P. R. China, Proceedings of 4th ECPA, June 2003, Berlin. Edited
by Stafford A.Werner, Wageningen Academic Publishers. ISBN 9076998213, 2003, pp.705-
4. Gao Yuanen ,The Present Situation and Development Trend of Agricultural
Machinery Industry in China, Proceedings of International Forum on Development Strategy
of Agricultural Equipment and Mechanization in Less Developed Regions, October 15th,
2004, Beijing.
5. Wang Maohua, ICT evolution and Engineering Technology Innovation for Sus-
tainable Agriculture, Proceedings of 2-rd World Engineers Convention, 2-6th Dec. 2004,
Shanghai, China.
6. Wang Maohua, The New Advances of Agricultural Mechanization and Equipment
Industry in Recent Year in P. R. China, presented at the 3rd Session of the TAC of
UNAPCAEM, 13-14 December 2004, Hanoi, Vietnam.

ISBN 5-88890-034-6. Том 1.

Ванг Маохуа
Ведущая лаборатория комплексных исследований современных систем
точного земледелия, Китайский сельскохозяйственный университет, КНР


На пороге нового тысячелетия, китайское сельское хозяйство вступило на новую
ступень своего развития. Исчерпывающие возможности сельского хозяйства были зна-
чительно расширены; производство зерна преодолело переход от длительной нехватки
к общему балансу и даже избытку в годы небывалых урожаев; и проблема снабжения
продуктами питания в масштабах всех страны была, в основном, решена. Китай стал
самым крупным производителем зерна и мяса в мире. Главнейшими задачами стали со-
вершенствование структуры агропромышленного комплекса, повышение производи-
тельности, рост доходов фермеров и улучшение экологической ситуации. Важнейшей
задачей стало активное содействие преобразованию традиционного сельского хозяйст-
ва в индустриальное, а также создание отраслей агропромышленного комплекса с вы-
соким товарооборотом, с высокой добавленной стоимостью, и высокими доходами в
иностранной валюте. Повышение доходов фермеров должно выражаться в переходе от
опоры на рост урожаев и цен на расчет на совершенствование структуры сельского хо-
зяйства, в ускорении урбанизации и развитии разнообразной экономической деятельно-
сти, особенно не сельскохозяйственной, а промышленной. Следующие 5-15 лет будут
ключевым периодом социального и экономического развития Китая, с созданием осно-
вания для наследования прошлого и устремлений в будущее. Страна будет плавно сти-
мулировать индустриализацию и урбанизацию для поддержки быстрого роста и устой-
чивого развития национальной социальной экономики. Содействие механизации сель-
ского хозяйства стало важной движущей силой развития сельского хозяйства и
сельской экономики. В июне прошлого года был принят «Государственный закон о
стимулировании механизации сельского хозяйства», который вступил в силу с 1 ноября
2004 г. По этому закону все государственные органы, начиная с уровня округов, долж-
ны включать пункты о содействии механизации сельского хозяйства в планы нацио-
нального и социального развития, а также постепенно осуществлять увеличение фи-
нансовой поддержки этого развития. Китай начинает новый период, который характе-
ризуется поддержкой сельского хозяйства со стороны промышленности, а развитие
сельских районов поддерживается городами.
В представленной статье дается обзор настоящего состояния механизации сель-
ского хозяйства Китая и сельскохозяйственного машиностроения, перечисляются про-
блемы и возможности ускорения дальнейшего развития, а также перспективы расшире-
ния международного сотрудничества, обсуждаются некоторые соображения по стиму-

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