(Yicai Global) June 4 -- China has piloted its first unmanned rice plantation in eastern Jiangsu province in an effort to automize the agricultural sector, although the technology proves to be more costly than human labor.
In the pilot based in Xinghua city, a dozen of unmanned machines finished the whole process of farm work ranging from tillage, beating, rice transplanting, fertilization and pesticide application, China National Radio reported.
The test program involved 12 teams from the fields of automobile, farm machinery, armament and electronic information industry, said Pang Chunlin, secretary-general of Telematics Industry Appliance Alliance, adding that this test was an innovative effort on the back of worker-farmer collaboration and military-civilian integration.
For now, the unmanned farm would cost over 20 percent more than a traditional one, but experts anticipate that automated farming will become more common once the technology becomes more affordable.
Further tests are due to be unveiled nationwide, including wider areas in Heilongjiang province, as well as operation in the sandy soils of Hebei province and the low hills of Chongqing, added the report.
Editor: Emmi Laine