CHINESE FARMERS USE LAMPS TO HELP PLANTS GROW IN HEAVY SMOG

SHIJIAZHUANG — Farmers in the north China province of Hebei struggling to grow crops because of smog have had a bright idea: electric lamps.

Cai Yanmei, a farmer in Qian’an, said he had grown strawberries under lights. “There wasn’t enough sunshine before due to the smog and the plants didn’t grow well.”

Agriculture experts said lamps could increase yields, accelerate the growth cycle, and keep diseases and insects at bay.

“Growing under lamps could make plants more hardy,” said Zhang Shusen, a technician at Yaluanwan Agricultural Park, Qian’an.

North China has experienced particularly bad bouts of smog this winter, disrupting traffic and schools. In November and December, Beijing, which is adjacent to Hebei, reported 22 days of bad air, 15 more than the same period last year. PNA/Xinhua