The World Bank is to lend 100 million U.S. dollars to a program to reduce heavy metal pollution in China’s largest rice-producing province. “This project is the first of its kind supported by the World Bank in China, and will be innovative in addressing heavy metal pollution in agricultural lands,” said Cao Wendao, the bank’s senior agriculture economist…Full Article: Xinhua Finance Aug 2017

Key Point

  • The World Bank program will encompass 8,000 hectares of farmland in Hunan Province, central China.

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). China’s Ministry of Land and Resources updated (July 2017) this figure, noting that the country must have at least 1.865 billion mu (~124.3 million hectares) of farmland. Also by 2020, 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 June 2017, China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress began drafting a law on soil pollution prevention and control. If the law is approved, fines ranging from CNY 500,000 to CNY 2 million [~USD 73,000 to USD 292,000] will be levied on companies found dumping waste (sewage/sludge) containing heavy metals or other pollutants on farmland.
  • 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 November 2016, Canada’s Nelson Soil Remediation and China’s Suzhou Niersen Environmental and Ecological Technology signed a joint venture agreement.
  • In October 2016, Chinese representatives from Suzhou Niersen Environmental and Ecological Technology and Canadian representatives from Nelson Soil Remediation attended the RemTech 2016 (soil remediation) conference in Banff National Park, Alberta.
  • In June 2016, China issued crop rotation and fallow system guidelines relating to 6.16 million mu [410,666 ha] of farmland.
  • In May 2016, China’s State Council published an “Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution”. Key to the plan would be business-backed (private enterprise) soil remediation efforts/investments.
  • 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.
  • In June 2015, China announced it would construct 80 “eco-friendly” vegetable plots in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei in accordance with the quality control standards of Beijing. These standards primarily focus on limiting the use of pesticides.
  • In 2014, China released a survey that 16% of its soil area exceeded state mandated pollution limits.
  • 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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