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XI'AN, March 15 (Xinhua) -- A little over four years ago, Qi Yeye decided to quit her job in the city and return to her rural hometown in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, a decision that caused her husband some confusion.
However, Qi explained her reasons for the move, saying that the rural area provided fairly good opportunities and she could work closer to her family.
Qi graduated from Xi'an Shiyou University, worked for quite some time in the developed coastal areas of the country and switched to farm life in her hometown in 2018.
"As a child from the countryside, going to college doesn't mean leaving the countryside, but building a better hometown," said the 32-year-old Qi.
Currently, Qi and her brother Qi Kun cultivate over 53 hectares of farmland in Qixi Village, in the city of Baoji, and provide management services for over 2,000 hectares of farmland in the surrounding area.
At the family farm run by Qi Yeye and her brother, many tasks that once required manual labor can now be done efficiently with modern technology. This includes computer-controlled integrated systems for water and fertilizer irrigation, as well as intelligent Internet of Things monitoring platform for pests and diseases.
"At present, the more than 53 hectares of land are contiguous and suitable for large-scale farming. We bought more than 70 sets of modern agricultural machinery, which greatly improved the efficiency of farming," said Qi Kun.
Since 2019, Qi Kun has spent 150,000 yuan (about 21,840 U.S. dollars) to purchase three agricultural drones and mastered their operation by himself, thus improving the efficiency of pesticide spraying. In 2021, he even won the championship of a local agricultural drone competition.
"The drones can spray 20 hectares of land in an hour, while self-propelled sprayers can only cover 2.67 hectares of land in the same period of time," said Qi Kun.
"But farming is still hard work. For example, you have to harvest wheat in the summer sun. Farming involves working with the soil," Qi Kun added.
Zhao Haibin, director of the bureau of agriculture and rural affairs in Baoji, said that the further promotion of rural revitalization requires new talent who understand agriculture and love rural areas, as well as farmers.
"College students are young, energetic and well-educated, with strong learning ability and quick acceptance of new technologies," said Zhao. "When they return to their hometowns and devote themselves to agriculture, this can drive the improvement of quality among farmers and is conducive to accelerating agricultural modernization."
In 2021, Qi Yeye and Qi Kun received certificates, issued by the department of agriculture and rural affairs in Shaanxi, honoring them as a new type of senior professional farmer.
"You will make a difference if you take up agriculture as a career," said Qi Kun. "The government has given great support to major grain growers, which has strengthened my confidence in sticking to agriculture and performing well." ■