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Sharp drop in use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, agriculture minister says

Updated: Mar 6,2018 10:11 AM

The use of synthetic fertilizers in agriculture in China decreased last year, while the use of pesticides has fallen since 2016, Han Changfu, minister of agriculture, said on March 5.

“This is a historic turning, as for decades in the past use of fertilizers and pesticides in China had kept increasing,” he said. “We have achieved the target of ‘zero-increase’ for the use of pesticides and fertilizers three years in advance.”

The ministry has intensified efforts to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers since 2016 to reduce environmental pollution, he said, adding that the use of fertilizers has played an important role in the growth of grain production in China over the past decades.

China’s annual grain output has remained at 600 billion kilograms for five years in a row, which is more than enough to meet demand, he said.

However, research by scientists saw improvement in the use of seeds and this has made the biggest contribution to growth in grain production, Han said.

In addition, favorable policies and technological achievement, such as improved water irrigation and promotion of machinery in agricultural production, also played important roles in increased grain output, he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to take measures to reduce the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers to promote green agriculture, including promoting the use of organic fertilizers in main areas of production for fruits, vegetables and tea, according to Han.