Beijing, October 16:
Chinaâ€™s â€˜Spark Programmeâ€™, which aims to popularise modern technology in rural areas, particularly farming, has been implemented in more than 90 per cent of the countryâ€™s counties, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) said.
â€œSince the programme started in 1986, the ministry has carried out more than 150,000 technological programmes nationwide, including nearly 20,000 state-level projects, which have played a key role in advancing technological skills of Chinese farmers,â€ said MoST minister Xu Guanhua. Xu said the plan aims to help Chinese farmers find better jobs in the agricultural sector by familiarising them with modern technology. A national census showed that 90 per cent of about 900 million Chinese farmers have never received high-school education. Only five per cent of the rural labour population has received formal and institution-based technological training.
Liu Yanhua, vice-minister of the MoST, said the â€˜Spark Programmeâ€™ has improved the capability of young rural people by upgrading their technological skills, building a nationwide network.