Dongying explores utilization of saline-alkali land

By Liu Chuan| (| Updated : 2022-07-19

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East China's Shandong province is beefing up efforts to build the Agricultural High-tech Industrial Demonstration Area of the Yellow River Delta into a new comprehensive utilization model of saline-alkali land that can be replicated and popularized, so as to make contributions to the modernization of agricultural and rural areas in saline alkali areas.

The demonstration area in Dongying city which was approved by the State Council in 2015, is China's second national-level agricultural high-tech industrial area. It has an area of 350 square kilometers, more than 80 percent of which is saline-alkali land. Due to the high salt content in soil, almost no plants grew in the Yellow River Delta in the past, except a few saline-alkali tolerant species.

Now, the city has made progress in the comprehensive use of saline-alkali soil by cultivating salt-resistant crops in the demonstration area, which greatly increased the productivity of soil in the region.

"The improvement and utilization of saline-alkali land is a long-term project," said Luo Shouyu, an official at the National Saline-alkali Land Comprehensive Utilization Technology Innovation Center.

According to Luo, methods for cultivating and developing saline-alkali land have been developed in recent years. For example, instead of treating the soil of saline-alkali land, salt-resistant varieties were cultivated to fit the saline-alkali land. With modern cultivation technologies, the area has cultivated 37 new varieties of salt-resistant plants including quinoa, alfalfa, oats, and triticale.

In cooperation with research institutes, the area has built five pilot-scale research and development platforms for work related to smart agricultural machinery, seed breeding for saline-alkali land, biotechnology, and observation of saline-alkali land ecosystem. So far, it has 116 expert teams from 56 scientific research institutes.

To further support the high-quality development of the demonstration area, Shandong provincial government recently issued a guideline.

According to the guideline, Shandong plans to build a number of sci-tech innovation platforms such as the national center for the comprehensive utilization of saline-alkali land, implement a number of major sci-tech projects, and attract high-end resources in the region.

Moreover, Dongying will speed up the cultivation and expansion of industries specializing in saline-alkali land research and development, and contribute to Shandong's efforts in building a strong modern agricultural province.