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China's irrigated area tops the world

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-07-31 15:57

BEIJING - China has the largest expanse of irrigated lands in the world, which helps ensure food security at home, a water resources official has said.

China has an irrigated area of 74 million hectares, covering half of the country's farmlands, said Ni Wenjin, an official with the Ministry of Water Resources, at a Belt and Road forum on irrigation and drainage on Tuesday.

"The development of irrigation and drainage is one of the priorities of the ongoing rural vitalization and agricultural modernization drive in China," said Ni.

The country has seen 20 million more hectares of lands irrigated with agricultural water consumption basically unchanged for three decades, using water-saving irrigation technology in 46.3 percent of irrigated lands nationwide.

Pricing reforms for agricultural water are also underway to help economize water usage, Ni added.

China is sharing duplicable experiences with Belt and Road countries in addressing water scarcity.

The ministry has inked agreements or memorandums with over 60 countries regarding irrigation-related cooperation since the Belt and Road Initiative was brought up in 2013, according to Ni.

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