BEIJING, CHINA — China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) unveiled a plan for increasing mechanization in agriculture.

The plan is part of the 14th Five-Year Plan period from 2021-2025. MARA set a series of quantitative objectives, including 75% mechanized operation in planting and harvesting; full mechanized operation in major production counties (cities or districts) for grains, cotton, oilseeds and sugar; 55% mechanized operation in ploughing, planting and harvesting in hilly and mountainous counties (cities or districts); and 50% mechanized operation in sub-sectors of protected agriculture, livestock, aquaculture and primary processing of agricultural produce.

Greater efforts are required to facilitate supply-side structural reform in support of agricultural mechanization to close gaps, shore up weak links and increase synergies, MARA said.   

The plan also identifies agronomic systems, smart IT, farming practices and farmland development to be incorporated into the drive of agricultural mechanization.

The plan also stresses the importance of policy support, market-based principle, innovation-driven and balanced development, and systematic planning in the advancement of agricultural mechanization.