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£1.1M Project Aims for Smart Farming in China
Mar 06 2019 Read 370 Times
The University of Aberdeen is to lead a project designed to inform and guide policy and farming in China, with a view to finding a solution to pollution.
Involving 12 UK partners and 15 Chinese Institutions, the collaboration will build upon previous studies in a bid to develop sophisticated, simple to use tools, ranging from smartphone apps for field use to specialist software that can test the environmental impacts of farm practices over large areas of land.
The MIDST-CZO project, which has received £1.1M funding from the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) and further funding from the National Science Foundation of China, is a continuation of other China-UK projects.
Lead scientist Professor Paul Hallett, from Aberdeen’s School of Biological Sciences said: “This project follows on from what was, arguably, the deepest ever study of agricultural impacts to soil and water in China. Most studies of soils have been limited to shallow depths, but these new findings have shed a lot of light on just how much applied fertilisers may be seeping out of soils to pollute water and air.
“By studying everything from the tops of trees to the bedrock beneath the soil, these projects contributed to a global network of Critical Zone Observatories. This has produced a wealth of knowledge that will allow our new follow-on project MIDST-CZO to seek a step-change in improved practices and policy in China to sustain soil and water resources.”
Professor Ganlin Zhang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Soil Science is one of the lead scientists involved from China. He said: “We are looking forward to continued collaboration with our colleagues in the UK. The observatories established in China are producing fascinating findings on how the environment works, so it is exciting to use this new information to guide better farming practices.”
“We hope our tools will help innovate agricultural production in other parts of the world, aiming to improve the profitability of farming and its environmental impact at the same time.”
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