09 Nov 2012

Farmers’ training/education is critical for China’s agricultural modernization

With the development of modern agriculture, more and more new sciences and technologies have been used for farming in the world. As a developing country and quickly agricultural development, science and technology played very important role in China’s agricultural production in last decades.
In 2007, there were 918.4 million people who lived in rural area in China. About have of them directly or indirectly work for farming. They are the end users of new agricultural science and technology, and their training/education level has and will continue to influence the use efficiency of all the new technology in the country. For example, China has advanced hybrid rice technology and hybrid rice yield has over 12 tons/ha in many experimental fields. But hybrid rice yield in farmers’ field under large scale was stably pace up and down on 6.3 tons/ha in last decade, no significant difference. There would be many reasons for this case, but short of training/education for right technology using must be one of the most important reasons.

It is a long term problem that farmers short of education and training on science and technology in China. Low investment on farmers’ education is one of the main reasons. For example, in 2006, there was only USD 29.4 million from central government be used for about 500 million farm labours’ training and education in the country. At present, only 37% of the farmers have educated in primary school or above, only 13% of them have educated in high school, and 63% of them are illiteracy in the country.

To keep high efficient and sustainable agricultural development in China, improving farmers’ training and education level in future is critical. With great potential and market, more input from government, universities and enterprises is needed in the country.

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