(Yicai Global) Sept. 20 -- China’s 2,887 county-level administrative districts have completed delineation of ‘permanent basic farmland’ totaling 1.033 million square kilometers. Farmland protection responsibilities have been specified for all parties involved, with improved instructions regarding information registration and data insertion, said Cao Weixing, vice minister of the ministry of land and resources (MLR), at a press conference co-held with the ministry of agriculture in Beijing today.
The total area of farmland designated exceeded the pre-set target -- approximately 1.03 million square kilometers, Cao noted. China introduced the permanent basic farmland planning program in 2015, which involves setting aside and protecting highest quality farmland by mobilizing relevant resources, with the aim of safeguarding food security and increasing the overall production capacity.
Limited supplies of per capita arable land and reserve resources of cultivated land are the reality in China today, Cao added, stressing that designating and protecting farmland in suburban areas can also help curb pollution, protect the natural environment, make urban and rural areas look nicer and prevent urban sprawl.
The ministry of agriculture is also working on enhancing farmland quality through measures such as optimization of low yield fields and soil and pollution remediation, aiming to improve the quality grade of farmland across the country by 0.5 grade (on a scale of one to 10), said Xie Jianhua, deputy head at the cultivated land quality monitoring and protection center.