Digitalization invigorates China's rural revitalization

(Xinhua)| Updated : 2022-08-10

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JINAN -- Liu Fuhui, a farmer from Chailixi village in Tengzhou city of East China's Shandong province, the country's leading grain and vegetable producer, is farming his land in a smart way.

With a cellphone in hand, he can monitor the temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels in his greenhouses in real-time and seek planting guidance remotely from agricultural experts when he faces problems.

"We used to farm with hoes, but now we farm with smartphones," said Liu, adding that a mobile phone can help monitor the indicators in the greenhouses in real-time and connect with experts remotely, which greatly improves the efficiency of agricultural production.

Liu's farming life gives a glimpse into China's change in agriculture. In recent years, China has deepened supply-side structural reform in agriculture and integrated digital technology into agricultural production and rural social governance.

As rural infrastructure improves, many villages in the country are going digital, and with the integration of digital technology and rural areas accelerating, the mode of agricultural production is also changing.

"5G agricultural machinery, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and other digital technologies are becoming the new tools for rural areas," said Li Daoliang, director of the International College Beijing of China Agricultural University.

Traditional agricultural production concepts and modes of operation are changing, and digital technology has made China's agriculture move rapidly towards ecological, efficient and intelligent development, Li added.

China's digital transformation has not only revolutionized the lives of urbanites with emerging technologies, but has also transformed the country's rural areas. According to a report on China's digital development released in July, the country's Internet penetration rate in rural areas stood at 57.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the popularity of mobile networks has enabled more Chinese farmers to embrace digital life.

"Using cellphones to study every night has become part of my life," said Xu Xinhua, a farmer from Zhangzhuang village in Zaozhuang city of Shandong.

Xu is the director of an agricultural cooperative in Zhangzhuang village and loves to learn planting techniques with his cellphone through livestream studios set up by agricultural experts on short-video platforms.

In recent years, China has also continued to promote smart social governance at the grassroots level and improve the quality and efficiency of rural governance with the help of digital management.

In Southwest China's Guizhou province, local authorities can learn about the operational situation of 5,981 garbage trucks and over 120,000 garbage collection points covering more than 110,000 villages across the province only through the back-end system of a mobile application called "Guizhou Smart Village."

Grassroots social governance covers various aspects of rural people's lives. Digital technology has improved the efficiency of grassroots governance in China and stimulated new vitality in rural areas, said Zhao Chunjiang, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.