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8.Sustainable Development of Agriculture

DATE:2009-06-04       SOURCE:

8. Sustainable development of agriculture


In 1990s, the Chinese government formulated a series of laws, regulations and action plans, and made greater efforts to implement strategies for sustainable development and gave top priorities to sustainable development of agriculture. Great achievements have been in this regard through various measures.


8.1 Formulate plans of action for sustainable development of agriculture. In accordance withthe objectives set up in China’s Agenda 21 Century, MOA prepared the China’s Agenda 21 Century - Plan of Action for Agriculturein 1998, coming up with a general strategy, key areas and capacity building for agricultural development. The plan of action serves as an important basis for the central and local governments to prepare, examine and verify programmes and policies concerning agricultural and rural developments as well as guide for agricultural development in the immediate future and for a long period of time.


8.2 Protect basic farmland. The government has always attached great importance to land resources management, and emphasized farmland as a basis for sustainable development of agriculture and a guarantee for food security in the country. To this end, the government has revised relevant laws and regulations on land management, promulgated the Basic Farmland Protection Regulations, and established basic farmland protection regions and the compensation system for occupied farmland. At the same time, the government has strived to improve environment quality of farmland through bringing under control pollution caused by application of agrochemicals such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers.


8.3 Develop eco-agriculture. By playing close attention to development of eco-agriculture, the government has launched 102 state-level projects for establishing eco-agriculture demonstration counties. In light of laws of ecology and eco-economics, those demonstration counties have implemented projects for eco-environment restoration, resources conservation and introduction of environmental friendly technologies through restructuring of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries.These projects have produced significant economical, ecological and social benefits and realized the harmonious development of economy and eco-environment, bringing along the rapid development of eco-agriculture nationwide. At present, there are over 400 counties practicing eco-agriculture, and more than 500 counties/cities in the process of establishing demonstration areas, of which 102 are the state-level eco-agriculture counties, and 233 the state-level eco-demonstration areas.


8.4 Develop dryland water-saving farming and protect agricultural eco-environment with agronomic and biological measures. Accordingto requirements for opening up new water resources and regulating water consumption inarid and semi-arid areas as well as in semi-humid areas subject to droughts, efforts have been made to introduce water-saving farming practices to these areas. It is necessary to adopt agronomic, biological and engineering measures in an integrated way for making use of precipitation to improve agriculture productivity and bring water and soil erosion under control. Up to 2005, the government has invested more than 500 million yuan in arid and semi-arid areas to establish over 500 dryland farming demonstration bases. At these demonstration bases, efforts have been made to adopt agronomic, biological and engineering measures comprehensively for making full use of precipitation to improve water use effectiveness and agriculture production capability, and bringing water and soil erosion under control. The vast arid areas in northwest, north and central China have developed a relatively complete set of dryland farming practices for water-saving faming. Thanks to the adoption of modern dryland farming practices and water-saving techniques, agricultural water consumption in these areas has reduced by 30-50 percent and soil erosion by over 50 percent, which has played an important role in improving agricultural production level and eco-environment as well.


8.5 Develop renewable energy in rural areas. Thanks to the extensive promotion of introducing to rural areas fuelwood-saving stoves, biogas and solar energy, the proportion of biomass energy consumption has declined by a big margin. At present, there are 18.07 million households using biogas, and the annual production of biogas is 7.06 billion cubic metres. Thanks to energetic support from the government for biogas development through making use of animal and poultry wastes, completed are 3 556 project with annual processing capability of over 80 million tons of animal and poultry wastes, 146 000 digesters for making use of effluents from daily life to generate biogas, more than 500 projects for central biogas supply by making use of straw and stalk, 189 million fuelwood-saving stoves, and 28.46 million square metres of solar-energy water heaters. In addition, efforts have been made to introduce solar-energy stoves, and make use of renewable energy like wind and geothermal energy. All these efforts have contributed to alleviating energy shortage in rural areas and bring deforestation under control to a certain degree, and to effectively protecting the eco-environment. 


8.6 Reinforce establishment and protection of grassland. For the purpose of strengthening protection of eco-environment and management of planning, the focus of grassland work strategy has shifted from taking the realization of economic targets as the major task to giving equal emphasis to ecologic, economic and social targets while placing top priority on eco-environment. As a result, the grassland vegetation returned to normal, and the eco-environment took a turn for the better. The government has kept increased input to establishment and protection of grassland. For example, the central government spent over 9 billion yuan from 2000 to 2005 in carrying out projects for recovering and establishing natural vegetation of grassland, enclosed pastures, seed production bases of pasture plants, returning pasture to grassland, and projects for protection of grassland eco-environments to control sand storm sources of Beijing and Tianjin. All these projects have made ecological, economic and social benefits. At the end of 2005, the nationwide total acreage under cultivated pasture was up to 13 million ha, improved pasture 14 million ha and enclosed pasture 33 million ha. Pasture preservation and rest-rotation grazing system were applied to 20 percent of usable grassland.   


8.7 Enhance management of fishery resources. The initiatives of fishermen have been mobilized in protecting resources and developing production by means of enforcing the Fishery Law to the letter, identifying the use right through issuing water surface use certificates for aquaculture and fishing licenses to fishing vessels for controlling the intensity of inshore fishing. International cooperation in this field has been strengthened. A fee-collection system and releasing fish fries have been introduced to increase fishery resources; the system of fishing sanatorium period and non-fishing areas instituted to enhance protection of fish resources; and efforts made to preserve wild rare aquatic animals and plants and promote the rational utilization of fishery resources promoted.

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