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Home > New technology likely to cut China's soybean import

HARBIN - New technology in the field of agriculture has allowed farmers in China's largest soybean producing region to boost yields and cut dependance on foreign growers.

Adapting a fertilization method used in the US, Brazil and Argentina, farmers in northeast Heilongjiang province have increased annual yields by 8 percent on average this year, Wang Guoliang, head of the provincial fertilizer management station said during a training conference on Sunday.

Wang has played a role in more than 4.67 million mu (311,333 hectares) of farmland being treated this year through teaching local farmers to use rhizobium inoculant technology, an environmentally friendly alternative to nitrogen fertilizer.

The conference was organized by National Agricultural Technology Extension Service Center (NATESC) under the the Ministry of Agriculture.

Zhou Zeyu, an official with the NATESC, said rhizobium inoculant technology is widely used in major soybean producing countries but so far only 6 percent of the growing areas in China have adopted the technology.

Rhizobium is a bacteria found in soil that works naturally with certain species of plants to better nitrogen intake, normally a process reserved for nitrogen fertilizers such as carbamide, said Pang Jingping, general manager of the Hualong Biotechnology Company of the Harbin Institute of Technology, major rhizobium supplier of the province.

Promoting the technology will further increase the soybean yield, and improve the soil conditions by reducing the usage of chemical fertilizer, said Li Jun, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Soybeans are China's primary grain import, which rose 8.6 percent year on year to reach 63.4 million tons in 2013.