BeiDou Technology Advances Development of Pasture Animal Husbandry in Northern China

"In the past, I had to hire three or four laborers to take care of these animals, which is both costly and exhausting. It is much better now with the monitoring system. It only took me alone to look after the sheep fromI home." Gangzhao Rige said.

42-year-old Gangzhao Rige is a herdsman from Sonid Right Banner. He didn't stay in town for employment after graduation from college in 1998, but went back to the pasture to do "the old business". His family now keeps over1,000 sheep, over100 cattle and over 100 horses.

In the pastoral areas in northern China, livestock move around and graze in contracted land. If the herdsman has a large pasture and large number of livestock, he normally has to graze by himself or hired laborers to protect his livestock from getting lost or running into accidents.

In recent years, China's independently-developed BeiDou satellite navigation system has been widely used among herdsmen and has become an indispensable part of their production and livelihood. By wearing a satellite navigation collar around the neck of his cows last year, Ala Tengcang, a herdsman living at the edge of Kubuji Desert in Innor Mongolia, was able to accurately locate the herd through his computer and mobile phone.

"With a terminal of the same size as a mobile phone, I could access accurate location of the cows by pressing a button. The battery has a life cycle of up to two years. The collar works accurately even in the no man's land deep in the desert in the absence of normal signals." 45-year-old Ala Cangteng said.

The application of the BeiDou satellite navigation and positioning technology in agricultural production is an innovation, which further boosts the development of modern pasture animal husbandry in China.

"The desert is so big that it sometimes takes a whole day to find the cattle. The employment of the navigation collar by most of the herdsmen significantly saves laborers and spares them time to engage in something else." Ala Cangteng said.