Hardware facility installation of curtains, fill-in lights, and irrigation systems have been completed at the 15-hectare (37-acre) Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Modern Agricultural Demonstrative Park in North Hezhou area, which is expected to open in July.
Invested in and constructed by Zhuhai Huafa Group, the park is set to be a pioneer in China as a healthy food base in terms of both single scale and technologies. Upon operation, it is expected to provide 7,000 metric tons of high-end fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, mini cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce, traditional Chinese herbs, and flowers.
The first high-tech smart agricultural project in developing Huafa's big health food business, the park will also create job opportunities for over 300 farmers.
The park will feature high-quality agricultural varieties from both home and abroad that are planted in world-leading semi-enclosed smart glass greenhouses, the first time for such technology to be widely applied in South China.
Li Qi of Zhuhai Huayi Eco-Technology, a subordinate of Huafa Group, said that the park has higher land yields than traditional agriculture. The non-reflecting glass installed as roofs of the greenhouses can provide sunlight to cherry tomato plants, enabling them to grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) in height and generate annual output value of 1 million yuan ($151,193) for 1 mu of land (1.7 acres), which is five times in yield compared to traditional methods.
The greenhouses use highly automated smart systems for AI-empowered environment control, big data management, and managing plant nutrition. Several national-leading innovative technologies are also applied, such as cooling and dehumidification technologies, as well as the linear electrodeless dimming of fill-in lights.
The park is now working with sci-tech institutions like the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences to cultivate fruit and vegetable varieties with independent intellectual property. Of note, it has carried out industry-university-research cooperation with the University of Macau to explore the standardized planting of TCM herbs.
Huafa Group established an agricultural expert team in 2019 and has gathered members from prestigious agricultural universities from home and abroad like Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, Cornell University in the United States, as well as China Agricultural University. Over 85 percent of the team members have overseas academic backgrounds.
A staff member noted that the park will become a major platform for the group to support Zhuhai in becoming a national-leading cluster of modern agricultural facilities and equipment.