Business / Industries

China moves to accelerate modernization of agriculture

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-08 10:40

BEIJING -- The Chinese central government released a guideline to make agriculture more intensive and environmentally friendly on Friday, as they seek to ensure adequate and safe food supply.

The guideline, issued by the State Council, or China's Cabinet, seeks to transform the production model by weaning dependency on resources and mass labor and improving the use of advanced technology and skills of farmers.

The government hopes modern agriculture will show improvement by 2020 and achieve strong progress by 2030.

Farming in China has been booming for more than three decades, with a constant rise in output. The nation prides itself on feeding more than a fifth of the world's population on only 10 percent of arable land worldwide.

However, over-exploitation and primitive farming techniques have burdened farmland. In northeast China, a major grain area, crops are suffering from falling fertility as layers of so-called black soil land were reduced to 20 cm from 100cm decades ago.

"Agriculture faces increasing challenges and risks and it is an urgent need to transform the production model," said Ye Xingqing, head of the agricultural economy department of the Development Research Center under the State Council.

The guideline vowed to find new, creative approaches to industrial chains, subsidize modern farms, make loans obtainable to agricultural businesses and teach farmers to take advantage of technology.

To make the sector sustainable, the country will stop increasing fertilizer and pesticide use by 2020 to curb soil pollution and promote organic food, and pilot cyclic utilization of agricultural waste.

The government expects the measures will upgrade the agriculture, turning it into a sustainable sector and keeping its high yield at the same time to satisfy rising food demand from an enormous population.

The Ministry of Agriculture has forecast Chinese will consume 50 billion kg more food in 2020 than it did in 2010. Given the growing appetite, food safety will continue to be prioritized by policymakers.

China's summer grain output reached a record high of 141.07 million tonnes in 2015 after 11 consecutive years of increases, latest data showed.

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