Wang Zhen († 1368) was a Chinese inventor, agronomist, writer and politician of the Yuan Dynasty. He is considered one of the inventors of early movable woodblock printing technology. His illustrated agricultural treatise Nong Shu (農 書) was one of the most advanced of its time and presents a wide range of agricultural implements and technologies available in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.
Wang wrote Nong Shu for various practical motivations. Given the poverty and oppression during the Yuan period, it was intended, among other things, to support the destitute Chinese peasants and improve their economic livelihood. While the preceding Song Dynasty was a period of relatively great economic and agricultural stability, the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty adversely affected China”s economic and agricultural situation. Therefore, a book like the Nong Shu was able to help farmers increase their yields. However, the aim was not to be read by the mostly illiterate peasants, but rather to show local officials the best agricultural methods as intermediaries.