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China issues "land for land" policy to guarantee arable land area
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15:40, September 10, 2008

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China's land authority has asked local governments to replenish the same amount of arable land first before existing arable land is allocated for non-farming purposes.

The policy takes effect from 2009. The only exceptions are major projects of the state, such as the south-north water diversion project, the west-east natural gas transmission project, and military projects, said Ministry of Land and Resources official Huang Hetu on Tuesday.

This is seen as part of the government's endeavor to guarantee 120 million hectares of arable land to ensure grain security.

Local governments are supposed to carry out land reclamation to make up for the loss of existing arable land.

China aims to keep its arable land at 121 million ha by 2010 and no less than 120 million ha by 2020.


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