China plans 100 bln yuan investment in next five years to improve farmland (2)

08:24, December 20, 2010      

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According to the MOLAR, China has thus far improved 4 million hectares of farmland and turned another 1.33 million hectares of reserve land into arable farmland, boosting its cultivated land productivity by about 10 to 20 percent.

China's grain output rose 2.9 percent year-on-year in 2010 to 546.41 million tonnes, marking the seventh consecutive year of growth, according to preliminary figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) earlier this month.

The country's grain production areas also expanded 0.8 percent from one year earlier to 109.87 million hectares this year, according to the NBS.

Food security remains one of the major concerns for Chinese leaders as the country's arable land continues to shrink amid rapid economic growth and urbanization while its population keeps expanding.

The Chinese government urged provincial governments across the country to conserve a total of 120 million hectares of arable land till 2020, because farmland shrinkage is threatening the country's grain production.

"Our country must hold fast to the bottom line of 120 million hectares of arable land area," Xu said. "This is the lifeline of food security for the 1.3 billion people."

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