A training course on fertigation and micro-irrigation was held in Weifang on the morning of March 27th. Jointly held by the Sino-US Food and Agriculture Innovation Center (SUFAIC), University of California, Davis and Weifang Municipal Bureau of Agriculture, the training was set to provide a platform for enterprises, featured farms and growers’ cooperatives to learn and communicate. 40 people, mostly local agro-technicians and growers, attended the lecture by UC Davis Professor Isaya Kesekka and Andre Biscaro and Professor Bai Youlu from Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. Zhang Xisen, chief of Weifang Soil and Fertilizer Workstation, kept them company during the whole visit.
Weifang is a city in severe shortage of water, its per capital water resource standing 7% lower than the average level of Shandong province and representing 1/7 and 1/28 of China’s and the world’s average respectively. In terms of agricultural acreage, the share of water resource per mu (1 hectare equals to 15 mu) only accounts for 1/7 of the national average, with water deficiency ratio reaching 8.65%. The problem even got worse in extremely dry seasons, which makes irrigation water the major water consumption. Therefore, it is of great necessity for the city to promote fertigation, so as to ease water scarcity.
Fertigation is an important measure to transform agricultural development pattern and develop modern agriculture, for not only does the technique saves water, fertilizer and labor, but it also improves water and fertilizer efficiency and the quality of agricultural products. UC Davis, a top research university, leads the world in the field of fertigation. The training briefed the audience on the status quo and development trend of fertigation both at home and abroad and promoted the knowledge of fertigation and practical technology among them.
The training was followed by the signing of employment agreement between SUFAIC and the three professors, who were listed into the panel of Science and Technology Steering Committee of SUFAIC. The technologies brought by the professors met the needs of Guangzhou NETAFIM Agricultural Technology Co., Ltd and Qingdao Rijk Zwaan Seeds Company. For the next step, SUFAIC will roll out more training courses on modernized agricultural standards, a move to push forward agricultural modernization and fertigation of Weifang, in the context of the transformation drive from old economic growth drivers to new ones.