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Food security concerns despite bumper harvest | Updated: 2013-10-16 14:13

The village committee has provided 200 such bins for farmers to use when disposing of pesticide garbage. The rubbish is then sent to Wuhu for processing and incineration.

Over the past year, the village has collected more than 300,000 pesticide bottles and bags thanks to the pilot program initiated by Anhui provincial authorities.

Excessive use of fertilizer is another major concern.

Starting from 2005, Chinese agricultural authorities began providing free soil testing for 190 million farmer households each year. It gave them fertilizer recommendations based on the results.

The move has improved fertilizer efficiency, lowered consumption and boosted grain output, agricultural experts said. Meanwhile, it has improved the quality of farm produce and cut down costs and labor.

So far, 1.4 billion mu (93.3 million hectares) of farmland has been tested in this way, and it is estimated that 8.5 million tonnes of fertilizer have been saved thanks to the testing program.

With central government support, China is now planning to expand the program on a larger scale.

A bumper harvest can also mean difficulties for farmers in the way they store their grain due to a lack of sufficient barns, mice and insects damaging grain, as well as mildew in rural areas.

According to a 2011 survey by the SAG, Chinese farmers lost 8 percent of their harvests due to poor storage. This equates to about 20 million tonnes a year or equivalent to the harvest from 61.6 million mu of land.

To solve this problem, China is exploring new ways, such as establishing "grain banks", to help farmers store their grain within modern and large-scale barns.

"We shall ensure food security only if we successfully manage our harvest in every step of production, processing, transport and storage," said Cheng Biding, deputy director of the Regional Economic Association of China.

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