HARBIN, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's sales of self-driving agricultural machinery equipment and systems reached more than 11,700 units in the first half of this year, posting strong year-on-year growth of 213 percent.
The data was released from an on-site meeting on autonomous agriculture hosted on Wednesday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in the city of Jiamusi in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
Autonomous agricultural machinery could reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers by over 30 percent and increase work efficiency by over 50 percent, playing a very positive role in agricultural production.
Since 2018, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance have launched pilot unmanned agriculture programs for different soils, terrains and crops across the country.
As of September, China had set up 18 unmanned pilot agriculture zones for 14 types of crops in 12 provinces and autonomous regions, covering more than 5,300 hectares of farmland.
An official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said the ministries will work to expand the pilot programs to more regions in the future to achieve the commercial application of unmanned agriculture across the country.