Soil pollution would be under control in no more than 15 years under a bold new plan tipped to inject trillions of yuan into the Chinese economy. The State Council released its Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution yesterday [31 May 2016], aiming to improve soil quality, ensure safe agricultural products and create a healthy living environment. It is estimated to add 2.7 trillion yuan ($411 billion) to the nation’s GDP and create a market worth as much as 1 trillion yuan, the China Business News reports…Full Article: June 2016

Key Point

  • In 2014, China released a survey that 16% of its soil area exceeded state mandated pollution limits.

ChinaAg Comments

  • According to China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, approximately 16.7% of the country’s land is polluted while 19.4% of its arable land is polluted.
  • In February 2016, China released a policy plan to curtail agricultural waste crop stalks and plastic film. By 2020, China hopes to ensure that 85% of crop stalks are reused, 80% of plastic agricultural film and forestry waste materials are recycled, and 75% of animal waste (e.g. livestock and poultry) undergoes reprocessing.
  • In July 2015, China announced it would publish an action plan on the prevention and treatment of soil pollution for the mainland. According the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Technology Standards at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the soil pollution action plan would be made public during the latter half of 2015. Also during the same month, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture, less than 33% of fertilizers and pesticides are absorbed by crops while more than 50% of livestock and poultry waste is not processed (e.g. biofuel, fertilizers, etc.).
  • In late 2013, China announced it would halt agricultural production on ~3.33 million hectares of land owing to soil pollution (e.g. heavy metals, pesticides, and additives).
  • According to a 2011 survey conducted by China’s Ministry of Agriculture, 67.8% of the sampled rice paddy land (or 107,200 hectares out of 182,133 ha) were contaminated with pollutants including cadmium, arsenic, nickel, copper, mercury and chromium. The survey took place in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Sichuan.
  • From 2006 to 2010, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land and Resources carried out a country wide soil pollution survey.

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