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Precision agriculture research collaboration aims to help Chinese smallholder farmers

Research collaboration between China and the UK (c) James Hutton Institute
“Management zone delineation and decision support systems are very important issues for small-scale farmers, not just in China but across the world"

China's North Plain is one of the country's most important - and densely populated - agricultural regions, producing crops such as corn, cereals, vegetables and cotton. A research project led by the James Hutton Institute and China Agriculture University aims to support smallholder farmers in the area through precision agriculture techniques.

The initiative, funded by the Agri-Tech in China Newton Network + (ACTNN+), seeks to test a decision support system in Xushui village (Hebei province, North China) which would help farmers determine the quantity of nitrogen-based fertilisers to be applied to their soils, in a drive to avoid fertiliser runoff pollution.

Project co-ordinator Dr Davide Cammarano, from the James Hutton Institute’s Information and Computational Sciences group, said: “Management zone delineation and decision support systems are very important issues for small-scale farmers, not just in China but across the world.

“In this case, our proposed decision support system is targeted to the advisors which support the farmers on site-specific management. It has been conceptualised to work with minimal data input, to ensure it can be broadly applicable.

“The project will suggest a novel approach to existing research from China Agricultural University.”

The initiative is scheduled to run until July 2018. It is one of four projects funded via the ACTNN+ Newton Fund, which sees a growing network of universities, research and development institutions, companies and others working together.

Besides the James Hutton Institute and China Agriculture University, project partners include RSK ADAS Ltd; Rothamsted Research; Courtyard Agriculture; Hebei Agricultural University and Henan Agricultural University.

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Printed from /news/precision-agriculture-research-collaboration-aims-help-chinese-smallholder-farmers on 22/03/19 04:21:07 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.