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Green development to benefit agriculture

Updated: Feb 10,2017 4:27 PM Daily

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council put particular emphasis on green development in rural areas in this year’s “No 1 Central Document” and sent a strong signal of the development orientation for agriculture.

China has attached great importance to the protection of agriculture resources and construction of ecological environment in recent years. A series of projects have been implemented to combat pollution, improve living environment and protect soil and water resources, such as raising farmland construction standards, promoting dry farming and water saving agriculture, returning grazing into grassland and carrying out the Beijing-Tianjin sandstorm control project.

However, China is also faced with many difficulties and problems in agriculture resources and ecological environment protection, such as long-term over-use and over-development of agriculture resources, large amount of land reclamation from wastelands and lakes, and over-exploitation of groundwater, according to Yu Xinrong, vice minister of agriculture.

This year’s “No 1 Central Document” calls for better green development in rural areas. The agricultural model should be transformed from resource-consuming and resource-dependent development to green, ecological and sustainable development.

In 2016, pilot projects in crop rotation and fallow land system have been carried out in many places around China, such as North China’s grassland areas, underground funnel areas in Hebei province, heavy metal polluted areas in Hunan province, and Southwest and Northwest China’s ecological degraded regions. In the next three to five years, the scope of the trials will be expanded in accordance with agriculture reconstruction, national financial resources and grain supply and demand.

The policy document also stressed that in pursuit of safer, more sustainable, and higher quality products, there must be no increase in use of pesticides and fertilizers. Better quality-control and more systematic production will ensure the safety of produce. A chain of innovation centers will be created, and clean production that uses less water will be promoted.

According to the Ministry of Water Resources, 434 large irrigation areas and 2,157 medium-sized irrigation areas will complete water-saving reconstruction by 2020, and nationwide water-saving irrigation areas will cover more than 60 percent of all irrigation areas, while more than 30 percent will be high-efficiency water-saving irrigation areas.

“No 1 Central Document” of 2017 also called for construction of major ecological projects and national ecological security shields. A national forestation campaign will be promoted, and protection of wildlife, rehabilitation of desertification land, and management of hydro ecology should meet higher standards.