China urges high standard farmland development
Updated 20:06, 25-Nov-2019
Liu Hongcai

With a population of over 1.4 billion, grain is a lifeline of China. Therefore, high-standard farmland is essential for China to expand its grain output and strengthen its national food security.

The General Office of the State Council has issued a circular, rolling out new specifications for developing high standard farmland.

According to the circular, the country aims to cultivate high-standard farmland covering up to 800 million mu (about 53 million hectares) by 2020, and increase the area to one billion mu by 2022. That's expected to yield over 500 billion kilograms of production capacity, taking up 80 percent of total grain production. 

"After achieving the goal, the average grain production capacity will increase by 10-20 percent. And grain production capacity in high standard farmlands will be much more stable than other farmlands, in years with severe weather disasters," said Yu Xinrong, vice minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, at the policy briefing on Monday.

To realize the goal, more government bonds and land leasing revenue will be allocated to building farmlands. Private capital will also help fund projects through diversified channels.

In the year of 2020, China's central government has allocated a total 61.6 billion yuan, about 8.8 billion U.S. dollars of subsidies for farmland construction, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Meanwhile, an integrated system of guiding planning and layouts, development, and management of such farmland will be rolled out. That includes unified standards for project implementation and investment, and a big data platform for farmland. Yet, flexibility is also allowed depending on factors like development needs of agriculture and countryside land.

China began building drought and flood resistant farmland in 2011. By the end of 2018, China had already developed 640 million mu of such farmland, with grain output increasing 100 kilogram per mu on average.