Walking into Yangling Smart Agricultural Demonstration Park in China's agri-science-city Yangling of Shaanxi province is like walking into a scene from a futuristic film. Green vegetables grow in white plates behind the glass walls, bathing in electric lights and drawing water and nutrients from an accurately-mixed solution running through the plates.
"After being used, the solution will be recycled, disinfected and injected with new nutrients before another circulation. This method saves 92 percent of water," said Li Meng, general manager of Yangling Agricultural Science Group Business Operation and Management Co Ltd.
Covering an area of 48 hectares, the 3-year-old demonstration park showcases more than 1,100 kinds of new technology, vegetable varieties and agriculture facility equipment from home and abroad.
Besides green vegetables, on the white plates in the plant factory grow other plants, such as cherry tomatoes, pansies, and strawberries, throughout the 30,000 square-meter intelligent greenhouses. All of them are water-saving, with outdoor facilities used to collect rainwater which can be used to water the plants after being filtered.
In this planting system, the growth cycle of vegetables shortens by one-third compared with that of those growing in the normal fashion, to about 42 days, Li says.
With a technological system that consists of 12 greenhouse facility agricultural technologies, three cultivation management techniques, four service functions and five environmental control technologies, the demonstration park serves as a demonstration and training platform to promote facility agriculture development in various countries and regions within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
By cooperating with Northwest A&F University and Yangling Vocational & Technical College, the demonstration park has received and trained approximately 300,000 representatives from domestic and foreign governments, research institutes, and agricultural-related enterprises, especially those from SCO.
The "technology-driven, business-oriented, multi-party collaboration, government-driven" model of park construction and operation has been extended to eight overseas agricultural technology demonstration parks located in countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Belarus. This has facilitated the dissemination of more than 110 excellent crop varieties and high-efficiency cultivation techniques, covering an area exceeding 2 million hectares.