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China to return sloping farmland to forestry

Updated: Sep 28,2014 1:46 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING - China plans to return sloping cropland of five million mu (over 300,000 hectare) to forestry by the end of this year, the country’s top economic planner said on Sept 27.

The program will be conducted in 11 provincial regions in China’s central and southwestern areas, including Shanxi, Hubei, Yunnan and Xinjiang, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The NDRC said the work should not harm farmers’ benefits and qualified land adjacent to rivers and lakes or in quake-prone areas will be prioritized.

Sloping cropland in China always has low yields and is subject to water and soil losses. China aims to return 42.4 million mu of cropland into forestry by 2020, most of which is sloping and sandy land.