[photopress:farmland_Longsheng_Rice_Terraces_GUANGXI.jpg,full,alignright]The latest report of Ministry of Land and Resources shows the country’s arable land fell by 40,000 hectares last year to 122 million hectares.
Admittedly the rate that slowed somewhat.
The farmland decrease rate has dropped by 0.22 percentage point compared with that the year before last. During that same period, 13,400 hectares of farmland were prevented from being illegally occupied. Which suggest that some of the measures the central government has adopted to protect arable hand have paid off.
Note that efforts to reclaim or cultivate 196,000 hectares of farm fields from wasteland and fallow land skew the figures somewhat.
If you compare these figures with the 403,000 hectares of land which had been occupied for construction in 2006 much has been done in checking illegal occupation of farmland. But at the same time, the land gained for farming in 2007 was much less than the 367,000 hectares that had been reclaimed in 2006.
The central government has said repeatedly that we can never afford to have less than 120 million hectares of farmland, a bottom line that will basically guarantee the food security of a population as large as 1.3 billion.
China is now a net importer of rice. It would appear that the 120 million hectare figure will be breached this year.
Source: China Daily