China aims to safeguard its food security and curb pollution by making government officials directly accountable for protecting the farmland in their regions, Reuters reports.
The country’s rapid urbanization and high levels of pollution threaten to put a squeeze on its food security, as food demand rises and agricultural land is sold off or contaminated.
To tackle this, the central government will make local authorities fully responsible for retaining and protecting arable land and for improving the quality of that land, according to new guidelines released Thursday.
Government funding for soil remediation efforts will be allocated depending on how well local governments have performed in terms of protecting land, Reuters said. Government officials will also be scored based on their performance in this area, and this will be taken into account when they are assessed for promotion.