China has drawn a critical line of 120 million hectares as the official minimum of arable land to feed the world’s largest population. Statistics report the amount of arable land fell to 121.73 million hectares last year. Which is close to the tipping point.
If the agricultural land was upgraded then some of the problem might be solved. Thus the Chinese government will spend RMB12.7 billion ($1.85 billion) on upgrading lower-yield farmland this year. This according to the State Office for Comprehensive Agricultural Development.
The money, which is 10.27% more than last year, will transform 1.77 million hectares of lower-yield farmland into high-yield. As a result, three billion kilograms will be added to China’s total annual grain production capacity. (Do not use this year’s figures as any sort of a guide. China is enjoying a bumper harvest.)
As a working definition lower-yield farmland is farmland that has an output less than 20% of the regional average, calculated on a three-year base.
To change this means the goverment must:
Improve the irrigation system and road system
Transform mountainous farmland into terraces, making it easier to work
Improve the soil quality by increasing organic matter content in the soil
Improve farming efficiency by training the farmers
Altogether 35 water-efficient projects for the medium-scale irrigated regions will be initiated this year with an investment of RMB301 million.
Source: LawInfo China