HOHHOT, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Seevan, 39, from Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, is one of the first herdsman to benefit from a unique service supported by Beidou, a Chinese navigation system similar to GPS.
Using a device similar in size to an iPhone 6, Seevan can control the water pumps for the wells across his 200 ha of grassland, and feed his animals remotely.
Thanks to the new system, his cattle and sheep now have access to clean water at the touch of the button, and Seevan does not have to go to every well, some of which are tens of miles apart.
Gone are the days when Seevan would have to navigate the bumpy grasslands -- a trip he would take daily in winter and twice a day in summer -- to turn on the water pumps and wait for his heard to drink before tuning them back off again.
Now he can do all this from the comfort of his home.
The system was jointly developed by Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology and the animal husbandry bureau of Hangjin Banner (County), Erdos City, in north China.
Chuluu, head of the bureau's information center, said that users can decide when they want the pumps to turn on and off. Herdsmen can also monitor their animals from the device.
Seevan is the first user to use the service, which will cost him around 300 yuan (c.46 U.S. dollars) a month.
"This fee will drop when more herdsmen join," said Chuluu. The younger generation of herdsmen are more willing to new approaches to animal husbandry so that they can spend more time on other things.
"Now I have more time to make Matouqin," he said, referring to the bowed stringed instrument carved into the shape of a horse's head. It is popular among the Mongolian ethnic group.
Named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper, the Beidou project began in 1994, some 20 years after GPS.
A regional Beidou network has taken shape, providing positioning, navigation, timing and short message services for China and several other Asian countries.