Agricultural science suffered from changes in policy and
emphasis after the 1950s. The Cultural Revolution disrupted
agricultural science training and research programs, but since the
mid-1970s training and research programs have been restored.
Government officials emphasized practical, production-oriented
scientific work. The rural extension system popularized new
techniques and new inputs, such as sprinkler irrigation systems. In
1987 eighty-four agricultural colleges and research institutes
pursued research in seven broad fields: agriculture, forestry,
aquatic production, land reclamation, mechanization, water
conservation, and meteorology. In addition, almost 500 agricultural
schools had a total staff of 29,000 teachers and 71,000 students.
In the 1980s thousands of researchers and students were sent abroad
(see Educational Investment
, ch. 4). Research was being
strengthened by the construction of sixteen regionally distributed
agricultural experiment stations. New agricultural journals and
societies were established to promote the dissemination of research
results within the country. The Chinese sought technical
information abroad as well through the import of technology and
machinery and the international exchange of delegations.
Data as of July 1987