Posts tagged ‘Agricultural policy’

07/12/2014

China looking to curb fertilizer, pesticide use | Reuters

China, the world’s top producer of rice and wheat, is seeking to cap the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that have helped to contaminate large swathes of its arable land and threaten its ability to keep up with domestic food demand.

More than 19 percent of soil samples taken from Chinese farmland have been found to contain excessive levels of heavy metals or chemical waste. In central Hunan province, more than three quarters of the ricefields have been contaminated, government research has shown.

China is the world’s top consumer of pesticides but almost two thirds of pesticides are wasted, contaminating both land and water, an environment official said last year.

“We need to be determined to control the use of fertilizer and pesticides,” said chief economist at the agriculture ministry Bi Meijia.

Zhejiang province in eastern China plans to cut the use of nitrogen fertilizer by 8 percent in the next three years, Bi said, and the whole country could cap the growth in use of fertilizer and pesticides by 2020.

Still, China is aiming to remain self-sufficient in its staple crops, even as it moves to control pesticide and fertilizer use, Bi and another agricultural official said.

China recorded a bumper grains harvest in 2014, with output up about 1 percent to 607.1 million tonnes, official data showed, the 11th consecutive year of rising production.

via China looking to curb fertilizer, pesticide use | Reuters.

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07/03/2013

* China faces social, financial risks in urbanization push

See also today’s reblog from China Daily Mail about the property bubble.

Reuters: “China’s urbanization drive could fuel social unrest over land disputes and pose financial risks if money is thrown around recklessly, a senior communist party official and a leading economist said on Thursday.

Wang Baiqiang prepares to go to work at a shoe factory in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province February 18, 2013. REUTERS-Carlos Barria

Shifting people from the countryside to cities is a policy priority for China’s new leaders as they seek to sustain economic growth that last year slowed to a 13-year low of 7.8 percent. The government hopes 60 percent of China’s population of almost 1.4 billion will be urban residents by 2020.

The urban population jumped to above 700 million from less than 200 million in the previous three decades, but that explosion has triggered sometimes violent clashes over expropriation of farmland for development as well as water shortages, pollution and other problems.

“These are severe challenges as we are trying to sustain the urbanization process,” said Chen Xiwen, head of the Office of Central Rural Work Leading Group, the top body which guides China’s farm policy. “Many people have worries and such worries are understandable,” he told a news conference on the sidelines of China’s annual parliament session.

The government must protect farmers from losing their land in the process as local governments have been relying heavily on land sales to finance local investment, Chen said. “If the urbanization process becomes a process of depriving and harming farmers’ interests, it cannot be sustained and society cannot maintain stability.””

via China faces social, financial risks in urbanization push | Reuters.

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