Inner Mongolia’s “grain king” has been committed to advancing agricultural technology and is confident that China’s food security will meet farmers’ expectations

BEIJING, November 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — There have been two pieces of good news for farmers in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in recent days: the corn harvest in the fields is plentiful and their female “corn queen” went to them Beijing returned to represent her agricultural region at the CPC National Congress.
When Mei Yuanxue returned to her hometown, the Horqin Left Wing Middle Banner in Tongliao, the applause that echoed in the Great Hall of the People during the convention was still fresh in her ears and in her memory, while the local peasants’ cheers on her burdened return renewed her enthusiasm and energy.
“I can’t wait to break the good news to my people,” Mei, director of the Center for Agricultural Technology Promotion of the Horqin Left Wing Middle Banner Bureau of Agriculture and Livestock, told the Global Times.
“The report to the 20th CPC National Congress has once again made food security and rural regeneration a key priority. Not only is this a new signal for the country to further incentivize farmers, but it is also a powerful growth driver for agricultural science and technology workers,” she said.
Mei, who has been quietly rooted in the farmland for 33 years while conducting scientific research and agricultural technology promotion, had set a high yield record of 1126.6 kilograms of corn per head mu (0.06 hectares) and helped the Horqin Left Wing Middle Banner produce good crops for 19 consecutive years. 2021, of China The national corn yield was 419 kilograms per mu.
“With the support of the CCP’s favorable policies, farmers in my hometown have steadily increased their incomes, from helplessness in the face of poor soil and fierce wind-sand disasters to guaranteed harvests,” Mei said, stressing that the Chinese people are currently stand firm take the initiative to uphold the fundamentals for food security on all fronts. In the future, China have the ability and confidence to further promote rural revitalization through agriculture.

Rooted at the base
The 57-year-old Manchu woman is not a farmer herself, but the locals, many of whom are farmers, are now seen as the “savior” of their region.
What made Mei, a feminine, intellectual woman, ready to work in the fields for over 30 years? And what brings this woman, who is literally not afraid to get her hands dirty every day, a miracle to promote and consolidate 5.9 million mu worth of high-quality farmland, an annual increase in grain production and savings of over 50 million kilograms to reach over 600 million cubic meters of water per year?
Mei’s hometown, the Horqin Left Wing Middle Banner, has 5.41 million mu of arable land, but the saline soil accounts for more than a third of the total area.
Since childhood, Mei had been accustomed to seeing a few sparse crops growing on the desolate patches of saline land, accompanied by the fear and confusion of local farmers, which had long been a pain in her heart.
After graduating from university in 1989, Mei quit a job in the big city and returned to her hometown to become a grassroots agent in agricultural science and technology promotion.
In the eyes of local farmers, Mei is always “dusty” – she never wears elegant leather shoes and always goes straight to the farmland when she arrives in a village. In order to find and solve the bottlenecks in agricultural production, she often works the whole night without a break.
Tongliao is located in the world’s golden corn belt, but at the same time the city suffers from severe water shortages. In the past, pollution caused by widespread plastic wrap drip irrigation made Mei uneasy.
In order to solve the problems of water shortage and water saving at the same time, Mei started experimenting with shallow buried recyclable drip irrigation tapes in fields in 2012 and achieved a technical breakthrough. To date, Tongliao has converted 5.9 million mu into high-value farmland with the shallow-buried drip irrigation technique it developed, which has brought tremendous environmental and economic benefits.
Over the past three decades, Mei has solved many farming challenges faced by local farmers: When a large-scale insect infestation occurred, she put together a team to detect and report the infestation. At one time, local farmers largely used a single nitrogen fertilizer, resulting in low yields. She compiled a scientific guide to fertilization to better advise the villagers.
Currently, the focus of Mei’s research is on the arable ability of saline land. In 2021, Mei led a scientific research team to implement a series of replicable and sustainable saline-alkaline land improvement technology models that prompted the conversion of more than 4 million mu of saline and low-yield farmland in Tongliao, doubling the production fields that were once a source of Farmers were disappointed.
For more than 30 years, Mei has spent an average of almost 200 days a year at the base. She visited all 516 villages of the banner and promoted more than a dozen advanced agricultural technologies.
Over the past few decades, Mei has turned down several more financially lucrative opportunities, insisting on working on the front lines.
“Finding technical flaws that can be improved in the process of agricultural production, continuously gaining the expertise to overcome such problems, and sharing that expertise with farmers in need makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something,” Mei said.

Full of confidence, encouragement
Mei’s sense of achievement also comes from her assessment of the current stable and progressing food security situation China. On the ground, she has personally felt the efforts and determination of the CPC in ensuring food security.
Taking Tongliao as an example, Mei said local agriculture and animal husbandry authorities have been actively providing high-quality services to farmers, including selecting batches of self-developed, high-quality and high-yielding seeds, and promoting advanced production technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles for insect infestation prevention and control and Precision seeding using the BeiDou navigation satellite system.
“In the past, farming was an inefficient activity in Tongliao, but today you don’t see women sowing in the spring and men don’t have to do heavy physical labor during the harvest season. We have mechanized the entire process from clearing the land to waiting for mature field management to the final harvest,” Mei said, beaming with pride.
Currently due to the shortage of supply and the RussiaUkraine Among other overlapping factors, the serious state of international food security has raised widespread concerns. Despite this global uncertainty, Mei firmly believes that no matter how much the international situation changes, China still able to feed its 1.4 billion people.
“The current emphasis on national food security is not a hasty response to the crisis; our country has always taken precautions. A decade ago or even earlier, we had started to gradually improve the food production and supply system,” Mei noted.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has emphasized the importance of seed and farmland on several occasions.
Visiting a seed laboratory in Sanya in April southern chinese Hainan provinceXi said seed resources must be “held firmly in our own hands” to ensure food security. He emphasized efforts to achieve and ensure self-sufficiency in seed technology of China Seed resources are self-sustaining and more manageable.
Regarding the protection of farmland, Xi once stressed that farmland is the lifeline of grain production and the foundation of the Chinese nation’s sustainable development.
“While we make great efforts to ensure seed safety, China strictly secures the red line of 1.8 billion mu of arable land. With the popularization of modern agricultural production, our food production has continuously reached new heights,” Mei said.
Corresponding of China China’s grain production exceeded 1.2 trillion jin (600 billion kilograms) for the first time in 2012, according to the National Development and Reform Commission. Since 2015, it has exceeded 650 billion kilograms for seven consecutive years. In 2021, grain production reached a record high of 682.85 billion kilograms, increasing to 70.2 billion kilograms compared to 2012. Grain supply per capita reached 483.5 kilograms, above the international food security threshold of 400 kilograms.

Expect the future
Mei who joined the CPC December 2000, was a delegate to the party’s National Congress for three consecutive sessions. After witnessing the grand gathering again, Mei was proud to see the outstanding achievements Tongliao has made in the field of agriculture, and is even more grateful for the commitment of Party officials and grassroots farmers behind the success.
Mei told the Global Times that she was initially inspired to join the CPC by the exemplary role played by its members.
“Whenever we go to the countryside to conduct research or promote agricultural techniques, local farmers respond more and more enthusiastically to Party members. And it is also the party members who are the first to be called and mobilized for some difficult tasks that have been made, so I hope to join this advanced team to play a bigger role,” she said.
After becoming a Party member, Mei truly felt the great synergy that comes from comrades working side by side towards the same goal, which is to transform the results of agricultural science and technology into real productive crops.
“Many agronomists traveled all over the country to explore experimental fields for technological innovations. In my hometown, grassroots party officials went door-to-door and via WeChat groups to give lectures to promote new agricultural knowledge, leading to reliance on annual harvests as a guaranteed ‘bet’ on our research,” Mei said.
At present, the corn harvest in the field is plentiful, but Mei also felt the great responsibility. In her next step she will grasp the golden age of of China Grain development and, based on the current preferential policy, aim to further increase local crop yields in the near future.

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SOURCE Global Times

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