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The History

Nanjing Research Institute for Agricultural Mechanization (NRIAM) of National Ministry of Agriculture,established in October 1957,is a public national research institute in agricultural engineering. NRIAM has a staff of 255 with 21 researchers and 59 associate researchers in eleven key disciplines, i.e. machinery for tillage and soil preparation, machinery for planting and sowing, machinery for underground fruit harvesting, machinery for crop grain harvesting, machinery for crop stalk harvesting, machinery for fruit, vegetable and tea harvesting, equipment for crop protection, agricultural mechanization and system assessment, equipment for agro-product classification and storage, technology and equipment for agro-product processing, and equipment for biomass conversion and utilization.

NRIAM comprises two grounds, one for research and another for field test. The research site, at Liuying No.100, sits on the south foot of Purple Mountain within Nanjing eastern scenic area, covering 12 hectares with 800,000 m2 facilities. The experiment base, located at Baima (White horse) town of Lishui County in southern Nanjing, covers 15 hectares for the testing on the operational performance of equipment for large field crops, agro-facilities, and precision agriculture.

In the early times from her establishment, NRIAM developed the first rice motor transplanter in the world, named East Wind - 2S, wining a third prize of the National Invention Award. The development of the muddy field rope traction machine, South -1403, solved the tillage difficulty in the muddy rice field of Lixia river area in Jiangsu province, wining another National Invention Award. The rotary tiller, South -1.5A, as well as its blades were designated as the model equipment for median sized tractors. The automatic long-range sprayer, South- 2604, became widely adopted for the pest and/or disease control of rice field. Those inventions were all in the leading positions either domestically or even globally.

From 1978 to the 1990’s, NRIAM extended her scope from machinery for ploughing, harrowing, sowing, or harvesting to machinery for food processing, machinery for crop protection, agricultural regionalization, agricultural mechanization intelligence, agricultural machine repairing, and agricultural electronic instrument inspection, etc. From the National Science and Technology Progress Award to various ministerial and provincial awards, the prize winning projects in this period included the mirco-hydraulic generator and auxiliaries for rural households, the test data processing algorithm and instrument for agricultural machines, the work component for rotary tillers and equipment for tractors, the rotary tiller series for small four-wheel tractors, the technology package and equipment of tray seedling for rice fields in southern China, and the methodology of agricultural mechanization for distinct areas, etc.

Since the beginning of ‘the Tenth Five-Year Plan’, NRIAM has further expanded her scope from the in-productions to the before- and the after-productions while expanding the subject from staple grain crops to economic crops, covering food, cotton, oil and sugar, etc. Breakthroughs were achieved in various fields featured by the full production cycle mechanization of rape, the mechanization of cotton harvesting and underground fruit harvesting, the mechanization of tea plantation management, aerial pesticide application, agricultural facility equipment, portable agricultural machinery, biomass energy utilization, and comprehensive utilization of straw. NRIAM won 23 awards in this period from national agriculture ministry, Jiangsu provincial government, or the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, which were featured with the novel backpack powder sprayer, as the only one in the field of agricultural machinery, winning the second prize of the 2001National Science and Technology Progress Award, the large/median-sized seed processing equipment winning the second prize of the 2009 Jiangsu (provincial) Science and Technology Progress Award, and the mechanization of peanut harvesting equipment won the first prize of the 2010 China Agriculture Progress Award. The ‘the eleventh five year plan’ national survey of agricultural research institutions conducted by the National Ministry of Agriculture ranked NRIAM the 47th in comprehensive research capacity among the 1077 organizations, which is the highest place for the field of facility equipment and engineering in agriculture, livestock or fishery, the top place for the field of agriculture machinery, and the 12th place among the 39 institutes of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).