Digital technologies facilitate cherry tomato production in NW China’s Xinjiang

 People’s Daily Online   08:52, June 24, 2024

A tantalizing aroma from bunches of red, round cherry tomatoes fills the air inside an intelligent greenhouse of a company in Kekedala city, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

These cherry tomatoes are cultivated using soilless techniques, with sensors installed throughout the greenhouse, said Tang Yue, executive director of Runtai Agricultural Technology Development Co., Ltd.

Leveraging digital technologies and Xinjiang’s unique geographic advantages of long sunshine hours and large temperature difference between day and night, the greenhouse produces high-quality cherry tomatoes that are well-shaped and delicious.

Covering an area of 250 mu (16.67 hectares), the company’s smart agricultural park ensures year-round production. It has attracted investment and globally advanced agricultural technologies from renowned companies.

“We adopt third-generation smart agricultural technologies from the Netherlands. Compared to conventional open-field cultivation, this has increased our annual yield by five to six times and reduced irrigation water usage to 1/20 of that of the traditional method. It’s also more environmentally friendly,” Tang said.

This can be partly attributed to the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, with temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and pressure sensors in the greenhouse collecting over 20 million pieces of data every day, said Su Xiaolong, technical lead of the company’s smart agricultural park.

Along with other devices installed in the greenhouse, it has an “intelligent brain” that provides optimal management instructions to the greenhouse’s guide operators, Su added.

The greenhouse adopts an integrated water-fertilizer irrigation system, ensuring that cherry tomatoes grow in an optimal environment with appropriate nutrition.

In addition, the park achieves green and pollution-free agricultural production by implementing measures such as biological control and introducing bumblebees for artificial pollination.

“Our park has realized digital management throughout the whole process of agricultural production, improving production efficiency while saving over 40 percent in costs,” Su noted.

Currently, the main crops grown in the park are cherry tomatoes and a variety of cherries. “The yield per mu of cherry tomatoes in our park can reach 16 tonnes, and the expected annual sales revenue is expected to hit 40 million yuan ($5.5 million),” Tang said.

Tang noted that the park can also help nearly 300 people from nearby villages find jobs near their homes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *