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|Wednesday, November 07, 2001, updated at 13:30(GMT+8)|
Ecological Construction Brings Economic Benefits to China's Western RegionThe ecological construction in China's western region featuring the returning of farmland to forest or grassland will generate great economic benefits, said experts.
China's western region, especially the Loess Plateau, is fit for planting purple medic, a kind of high-quality pasture grass for stockbreeding.
Statistics show that one hectare of purple medic will produce 60,000 kilograms of grass which costs nearly 7,000 yuan according to the current price, doubling the profit of grain.
According to 10th Five-Year Plan, five provinces and autonomous regions in western China comprising Shanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang will turn over 4 million hectares of farmland back into grassland.
In addition, a project to plant vegetation on bare mountains will be kicked off in the hilly areas of the western region. The provinces of Qinghai and Shanxi are planning to plant grass in an area of over 2.8 million hectares.
All the provinces and autonomous regions of the western region now set grassland industry as a key to developing the regional economy and are formulating preferential policies to encourage enterprises and individuals to restore vegetation.
The mountain city of Yan'an on the Loess Plateau in northwest China's Shaanxi Province is mapping out a plan to build a 670,000-hectare meadow, which will earn 8 billion yuan every year after construction and add 300 yuan to each local peasant's income.
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