China’s total farmland area dropped slightly in 2016, while the amount of construction land went up, official data showed. At the end of 2016, China had a total of 2.024 billion mu (about 1.349 million hectares) [sic] [134.9 million ha] of farmland, down 1.153 million mu from the 2015 level, according to a survey by the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR)…Full Article: China Daily July 2017

Key Point

  • In 2020, according China’s Ministry of Land and Resources, the country must have at least 1.865 billion mu (~124.3 million hectares) of farmland, an increase from the previously stated 1.8 billion mu.

ChinaAg Comments

  • By 2020, according to China’s Minister of Agriculture, the country’s demand for grains will reach 700 million MTs. In general, the country has the stated goal of cultivating at least 120 million hectares of farmland (~106 million ha must be grains). At the same time, China’s wheat production is expected to reach 131.9 million MTs on a cultivation area totaling 24.02 million hectares. The country’s total wheat consumption is also expected to reach 126.3 million MTs.
  • In March 2017, China announced it would increase its crop rotation and fallow system to 10 million mu (~666,666.67 hectares) of farmland. The new fallow system will encompass 2 million mu [133,333 ha] of farmland in the provinces of Hebei and Hunan, as well as some western regions. However, the focus will be on farmland in northern and northeastern China. Farmland affected by heavy metal pollution and desertification will be included in the system.
  • In 2016, China’s grain output decreased to 616 million MTs. From 2015 to 2016, China’s grain cultivation declined by 315,000 ha while its overall yield dropped by 30.7 kg per ha (0.03 MT per ha).
  • In June 2016, China issued crop rotation and fallow system guidelines relating to 6.16 million mu [410,666 ha] of farmland.
  • In April 2016, China’s Ministry of Agriculture released its National Adjustment Plan of Crop Framing Structure plan. As part of the plan, Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning would rotate corn with soybeans, while pastoral areas would rotate medicago (forage/alfalfa) with corn. China’s Huang-Huai-Hai Plain area would rotate corn with soybean. During the same month, China’s State Administration of Grain noted that country has an annual grains shortfall of 9.9 million MTs.
  • As of 2015, China’s northeast (e.g. Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin and Inner Mongolia) had approximately 160 million MTs of corn in storage, or roughly 78% of China’s total corn reserves. In addition, during 2015, China produced 621 million MTs of grains, of which rice, wheat, and corn accounted for 92% of output (~572 million MTs). Grain crops were harvested on 113.3 million ha, with some new acreage appearing at the expense of cotton crops.
  • In July 2015, 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.
  • Launched in 2014, China’s “Second Granary” program is designed to boost crop (i.e. wheat, corn, and soybean) yields in China’s Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. One of the program’s research funds will allocate CNY 36 million (US$5.6 million) to boost productivity on 4.7 million ha of farmland in the provinces of Shandong, Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu. The Huang-Huai-Hai Plain is a large alluvial flood plain named after the Northern Chinese rivers of Huang He (Yellow River) and Huai (flows through Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu), and Hai (flows through Beijing, Tianjin).
  • By June 2014, according to Deputy Director of the Development Research Center of State Council, China had transferred more than 250,000 sq. km of arable land. Transferred in this case means “land for land”. The farmland is transferred to entrepreneurs for commercial purposes. At the same time local governments are required to develop or restore new arable land that is equal in area of the land that was transferred.
  • 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).
  • In 2012, China’s Ministry of Finance planned to invest funds to increase the country’s high-quality farmland by 890,000 ha.

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