China has decided to boost mechanized farming and the upgrading of agricultural machinery, according to the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
The meeting said that quickening the work as required by the country's rural vitalization strategy would provide essential support for China to achieve agricultural modernization, allow farmers to increase their income and further expand the domestic market.
The work must be advanced to meet the needs of developing scale farming appropriately. During the process, farmers' wishes must be respected while the roles of the market are exploited. Grassroots creativity must be valued so that the work can proceed smoothly, it said.
The meeting also listed several crops whose production and harvest could depend more on mechanized farming. They are rice, wheat, corn, potato, oilseed rape, cotton and sugarcane.
In the meeting, it was said that farmers engaged in mechanized farming would be subsidized equally no matter if the machinery they purchase is from Chinese or foreign brands.
Financial institutions were encouraged to use mortgage loans to finance such purchases while local governments were called on to support the work through financial discounts.
The meeting stressed that advanced agricultural machinery and mechanized farming techniques should be further promoted.
It also urged enterprises to quicken innovation on agricultural equipment, double their efforts to develop complete sets of equipment and improve the quality of farming equipment suitable for major cash crops.
It said that small plots of farmland could be consolidated when possible so as to broaden the use of farming equipment and that various cooperatives need to be established to facilitate the sharing of agricultural machinery.
It was stated in the meeting that smart farming based on the application of modern information and communication technologies shall be advanced.