Dutch expert helps turn saline-alkali soil into farmlands

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2021-05-18

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Frank William Croon, a Dutch expert in agriculture and the utilization of water and soil resources, praised Shandong's achievements in agricultural development during an online interview held on May 14.

"In the past 40 years, China has witnessed dramatic changes, especially in agriculture. I am very pleased with the achievements made in agriculture in Shandong province, and I hope that the modern pipe drainage technology can make great progress to improve more saline-alkali land," said Croon.


Frank William Croon gives an online interview on May 14. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

In 1982, Croon came to China and focused on the promotion, application, and research of modern pipe drainage technology in China. He first put forward the idea of using pipe drainage to improve the condition of saline-alkali land in China.

Based in Shandong, Croon promoted the technology in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Jiangsu province, Hebei province, as well as other provinces and cities in China.


A file photo shows Croon serving as the representative of Dutch experts as they welcome a Chinese delegation visiting the Netherlands in 1985. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

With his help and guidance, more than 66,667 hectares of saline-alkali land in China have been turned into arable soil with the application of pipe drainage technology, which has made a great contribution to the transformation of Chinese agriculture from utilizing traditional to modern methods.

For his outstanding contributions, Croon was awarded the Yellow River Estuary Friendship Award in 2014 and the Shandong Qilu Friendship Award in 2017.


Croon is awarded the Shandong Qilu Friendship Award in 2017. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Currently, Croon is employed as senior technology consultant for Zhongtian Water and Soil Treatment Technology (Shandong) Co. His main task is to promote modern pipe drainage to implement rural revitalization, as well as to develop an internationally competitive modern agriculture system with innovation.