Agricultural mechanization in Xinjiang and the impact on workers

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Today we are in a factory of cotton harvesting machinery. In this plant there are thirty of these machines that cost about three million renminbi, about half a million euros, each. Each of these machines in an hour manages to collect cotton for twenty-five mu, about two hectares.

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This text is a transcript of the video available on my YouTube channel

Obviously the use of these machines has taken away the work to those who previously took care of the manual collection. However, the Chinese government has already planned training courses on the use of these machines, aimed at those who lost their jobs because of this innovation.

We are well aware that the mechanization of agriculture involves these situations, the important thing is to reintegrate workers before they become unemployed for too long. And here it seems that the government is pushing to modernise agriculture because doing so increases efficiency, but without having a negative impact on employment. Between training courses, vast terrain and a high growth potential, everything suggests that farmers who lost their jobs because of this machine will soon be reinstated.

Besides, I don’t know if you remember the documentary I made here before, the farmers don’t work here every day for the whole year. Those who work in these cotton fields, work here about sixty days a year and the rest of the anon do other jobs. So the repositioning on other industrial sectors is not very difficult because these workers actually during the year maybe make the waiters or open a shop, in short farmers but not 100%. It’s just a matter of reusing their skills in a new field.

Or, as we have seen in the cooperatives, the farmer completely abandons the land and leases it to a cooperative and takes about a thousand renminbi a year and devotes 100% to other things. He renounces his harvest, does not work for those sixty days a year, takes a thousand renminbi and devotes himself to other things. In short, with this circular system, the impact on unemployment is partly mitigated.

As happened everywhere in the world when industrialization came, peasants began to do other jobs. It is part of the transition from primary to secondary industry or even to tertiary.

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