Plant doctor battles pests and plant diseases with policy proposals
"I'm honored that I've contributed to the amendment of China's Seed Law," Wang Huasheng, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) and the deputy director of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region's Plant Protection General Station, told Beijing Review
By Lu Yan  ·  2022-03-07  ·   Source: Web Exclusive

Wang Huasheng, a deputy to the National People's Congress (COURTESY PHOTO)

"I'm honored that I've contributed to the amendment of China's Seed Law," Wang Huasheng, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) and the deputy director of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region's Plant Protection General Station, told Beijing Review.

During his years as a lawmaker, Wang has made several suggestions to relevant authorities on such topics as food security, prevention and control of plant pests and diseases, crop variety approval and new fruit variety protection. The suggestions Wang has made are the result of consultations with the farmers during field visits, and the years of research he has conducted.

Last year, he was invited to visit villages in Hainan Province and Guangxi to carry out surveys of the crop protection system, and make suggestions for improving the system and protecting the local ecology as well.

The surveys were part of efforts made by the NPC, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and other authorities to gather data before revising the Seed Law. Through multiple rounds of in-depth investigation and research, solicitation of public opinion, evaluation meetings and discussions, a draft law was formulated, which was deliberated by the 13th NPC Standing Committee last August.

Following this, the Standing Committee solicited feedback to the draft amendment several times. Wang took advantage of the opportunity and provided his opinions.

Judges evaluates kumquats at a fruit competition in Rongan County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on December 12, 2021. Plant protection helps to improve fruit quality (XINHUA)

In December 2021, the amendment to the Seed Law was adopted. The revised law adds provisions regarding the protection of new plant varieties, and the strengthening of scientific and technological research in the seed industry to promote innovation-driven development.

"The duties I perform as an NPC deputy will always be based on my own work and in accordance with the law, and I will continue to promote plant protection," Wang said.

As a plant protection scientist for nearly four decades, Wang has also been busy making technological innovations to overcome challenges facing farmers. In recent years, a kind of pest called the citrus fruit fly has affected fruit production in Guangxi. "The pest is a tough plant enemy to battle. If effective measures are not taken to prevent it from multiplying, farmers would have nothing to pick at harvest time," Wang said.

Wang and his team started a research and development project supported by government funds. After studying the pest, they developed a bait that lured and killed more than 90 percent of the harmful insects in the orchard. The bait is easy to use and does not affect the quality of the fruit.

After seeing improvements locally, Wang has been working to promote the technique and the insecticide to the rest of the country. Wang took the proposal based on the results of his work to this year's NPC sessions, where lawmakers discuss bills and proposals reflecting people's concerns and suggestions.

"The next step is application on a larger scale, during which we want to make it more effective and affordable, so that fruit growers can enjoy a great harvest and increase their income, and customers can buy better quality fruit," Wang said.

The No. 1 central document for 2022, released in February, stipulates that the country should promote environmentally-friendly prevention and control products and technologies for crop diseases and insect pests.

As the first policy statement released by China's central authorities each year, the document is seen as an indicator of policy priorities. Work on agriculture and rural areas has been high on the agenda for 19 consecutive years.

During this NPC session, Wang suggested that more government support be provided to remote rural regions facing financial hardship, so that farmers there can access advanced technologies without additional worries.

Copyedited by G.P. Wilson

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