January 3, 2017
China aims to boost farmland by 2020 in food security push


China plans to boost its reserves of farm and arable land over the next three years, the country's State Council said on December 29 last year.


The action is part of an effort to maintain sufficient acreage for crops to ensure food security, Reuters reported.


The Chinese government has identified food security as one of its biggest challenges in the next decade as vast tracts of farmland has been overtaken by rapid urbanisation and environmental damage.


As part of its 2016-2020 five-year land management plan, the government said it will add 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres) of arable land, partially replacing land lost over the past 13 years.


The increased reserves would come from cultivation and land management, the State Council said in a statement on its website, but did not give further details.


China currently has about 124.3 million hectares of arable land and more than 100 million hectares of farmland.


China's Ministry of Land and Resources revealed a three-year survey which showed that total arable land reserves have fallen by about two million hectares since 2003.


However, reserves of continuous arable land - concentrated, large scale land holdings - have fallen by 74% over that time. The drop exceeded 90% in 10 provinces including Beijing, Tianjin and Jiangsu.


- Reuters

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