China Reviews its Five-Year Plan for Agricultural Mechanization Development

Mr. Zhao Bing, Head of CSAM, attended the Consultation Workshop of Mid-term Review of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Agricultural Mechanization Development (2011-2015) (the Plan), held on 18 January 2014 in Beijing. The workshop was followed by the Annual Meeting of China Research Center for Agricultural Mechanization Development [1] at China Agricultural University (CAU).
The Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Agricultural Mechanization Development (2011-2015) was formulated in 2011 in light of the requirements of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2011-2015) [2] and the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Agriculture and Rural Economics Development (2011-2015). The Mid-term Review of the Plan was undertaken by China Research Center for Agricultural Mechanization Development, commissioned by the Department of Agricultural Mechanization of the Ministry of Agriculture of China (MOA).
The Consultation Workshop convened representatives from government departments, research institutions and academics, associations and NGOs, international organizations, enterprises and media to assess the Mid-term Review, which evaluated the implementation progress of the Plan against the major objectives and targets of the Plan. For example, the target of reaching 1 billion kw of total power of agricultural machinery by 2015 has been achieved in advance in 2012 (1.026 billion kw); while the rate of comprehensive mechanized operation (including ploughing, planting and harvesting) reached 59% by the end of 2013, one mere percentage from the 60% target for 2015.
The Review summarized the good progresses and trends of agricultural mechanization development in China during the first three years of the Plan. Firstly, the development focused more on structure adjustment and sustainability, which could be reflected by the increased proportion of machinery with big horsepower, sound performance and high adaptability, and the gradual phase-out of products with high energy consumption, high emission and poor quality. Secondly, the priorities transformed from merely targeting major grain crops to almost all crops, from key-stage operation to whole-process operation. The evaluation indicator systems of mechanized level for animal husbandry, aquaculture, agricultural products primary processing, forestry and fruit industry, and facility agriculture have been established initially, which will definitely impulse the development of agricultural mechanization in these fields. Thirdly, the development of machinery suitable for the hilly and mountainous region attained remarkable progress. And there is consensus among all key stakeholders that more efforts are still needed in this aspect. Fourthly, the integration of machinery and agronomy, mechanization and informatization has started yield results.      
The Review highlighted some major challenges and issues faced, including the unbalance among different regions, the contradiction between the endogenous market demands for rapid development of agricultural mechanization and the insufficient supply in terms of technology, fund, human resources, and institutional supports, and the unsustainable nature of previous development pattern.
In conclusion, the Review proposed measures and suggestions for the full implementation of the Plan by the end of 2015. Priorities are given to: putting in place  comprehensive supportive policies; strengthening R&D and commercialization of machinery and equipment, particularly  at some weak links; promoting the development of whole-process, all-coverage agricultural mechanization in a sustainable manner; improving the safety of agricultural machinery and equipment; and encouraging the development of socialized machinery service systems embracing households and cooperatives.
At the Annual Meeting of the China Research Center for Agricultural Mechanization Development, Mr. Zhao congratulated the Centre on its accomplishments made in 2013 and briefed the audience of the mission and work of CSAM, and called for closer collaboration with all stakeholders.

[1] The China Research Center for Agricultural Mechanization Development of CAU was established in January 2011 with the aim to carry out holistic and strategic research on the development of agricultural mechanization industry and national strategies, and serve as the think tank to provide evidence-based and theoretical support for government¡¯s major decision makings on agricultural mechanization development in China.
[2] The Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of China, or the Five-Year Plan, is the master plan of China¡¯s economic and social development aiming to arrange national key construction projects, manage the distribution of productive forces and individual sector¡¯s contributions to the national economy, map the direction of future development, and set targets. In 1953, the central government implemented its first five-year plan. Except for a period of economic adjustment between 1963 and 1965, a total of twelve five-year plans have been developed and implemented to date. The full English version of China¡¯s Twelfth Five Year Plan (2011-2015) is available at

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