The quality of agricultural products will be enhanced through developing high-standard farmland and cutting the use of pesticides, according to a State Council executive meeting on Feb 8.
The supply of high-end, green and healthy agricultural products is lagging behind consumers’ growing demand, Xinhua News Agency said. High-quality products need to be imported, while domestic products have a surplus in inventory.
A significant part of the quality problem is low-quality farmland, said Xinhua. The State Council urged enhancing farmland quality through promoting intensive plowing, agricultural mechanization and efficient irrigation.
Nearly 600 billion yuan ($87.4 billion) will be invested by the central government in the next five years to build at least 26.7 million hectares of high-standard farmland by 2020. Investment from regional governments and social sectors will also be encouraged.
In addition, fighting soil contamination — cutting the use of farm chemicals in particular — is also important to improve agricultural products.
Accordingly, a draft regulation to control farm chemicals was passed at the executive meeting. It ordered centralizing the supervision power held by multiple departments to the Ministry of Agriculture to prevent overlapping or blind supervision.
A licensing system will be set up for the production and sales of farm chemicals.
Fines for illegal use of chemicals, such as producing without approval and selling fake products, will be raised.
Yu Xinrong, deputy minister of agriculture, said the government has set a goal that by 2020, the use of farm chemicals will reach zero growth.