China-Israel hi-tech agriculture projects are booming - watch

The stunning park integrates water and fertilizer along with networked machinery and complex algorithms to tailor how various kinds of crops are managed.

China-Israel hi-tech agriculture projects are booming. (Jerusalem Post Staff)
China-Israel joint hi-tech agricultural projects are booming, The Jerusalem Post learned this past week during a media and government officials’ visit to a cooperative hi-tech demonstration park in Yangling, China.
Working with the Foreign Ministry and Israeli companies Mottech Technology Co. and Bermet Control Valve Co., China’s Na’an Danjian Irrigation Technology Co. and Yangling Yulu Water Saving and Greening Engineering Co. introduced Israel’s cutting-edge irrigation equipment and control system to the region somewhat inland from the center of China’s coast.
The stunning park integrates water and fertilizer along with networked machinery and complex algorithms to tailor how various kinds of crops are managed.
Yangling is one of China’s two main national projects for hi-tech agriculture to confront the challenges of farming in arid and semi-arid areas – parts of which many say is getting even worse due to global warming – so China can feed its more than 1.4 billion people.
The birthplace of Hou Ji around 4,000 years ago, who some credit as China’s first leading farmer, Yangling has grown from a fledgling village of thousands to around 2.9 million people with 100 billion yuan in transactions, say Yangling officials.
Yangling has cooperative projects with 70 countries and brings around 2,000 foreign students from developing countries to teach them modern agricultural techniques.
But Israel is part of a different track for Yangling – the track in which the Chinese learn some new tricks from Israelis.
Varieties of farmland crops, greenhouse vegetables, melons and seedlings can be integrated and controlled at different stages at Yangling.
According to information from Yangling officials, compared with traditional irrigation methods, the new Israeli technologies help China achieve more than 50% of water savings by sprinkler irrigation and more than 70% by drip irrigation.
Savings regarding fertilizer are at 70-80% and savings on labor are at 90%, all of which greatly lowers investment costs.
Overall, Yangling officials said that all of the above improvements increase productivity by 30%.
Following Yangling’s successful demonstration of the technology, the region’s officials say that the same Israeli techniques have been expanded to Tibet, Gansu, Qinghai, Sansha and other provinces.
Besides traditional irrigation, some Israeli methods use complex networked monitoring to be able to monitor individual crops on a massive big data scale, including being able to view them up-close from a headquarters without having to send laborers out into the field.
Using drones and other technologies, the agriculture park can adapt the care of individual crops on a machine learning analytical and automated basis, while only using reusing water and fertilizer as analytically needed. All of this eliminates a variety of waste which used to be unavoidable.
During the trip, a Yangling official pitched Israeli government officials in the delegation with the idea of uniting with Rehovot as a sister city with special expertise and interests in science and agriculture.
Yangling already is offering five different grants of around 500,000 yuan as an incentive to Israeli companies to invest or sell their technologies.
Israeli officials were enthusiastic about the idea and promised to try to take practical steps to help move it forward, including discussing additional visits and exchanges between the parties.
Yangling officials said that, “the technology applied in the park represents the most advanced agricultural irrigation concepts in the world” and shows off “the world’s most advanced water-saving equipment, fertigation methods (the injection of fertilizer into an irrigation system) and automation control technology.”
Joint agricultural projects are not limited to Yangling.
In 2015, Yunnan Investment Holdings Group worked with Israeli partners to establish the 1,619-hectare Yunnan Sino-Israel Highland Agriculture Demonstration Park, utilizing advanced Israeli agriculture technology, including drip irrigation, to cultivate vegetables.