High-standard farmland can improve food security
Aerial photo taken on July 20, 2021 shows a harvester reaping rice in the field in Baishizhai village, Shouyan township, Daoxian county of Yongzhou city, Central China's Hunan province. [Photo/Xinhua]
The State Council, China's Cabinet, issued a document last week approving in principle a plan for high-standard farmland construction (2021-30) to enhance food production capacity.
The overall goal of the plan is to ensure that 1.2 billion mu (800 million hectares) of high-standard farmland will be built by 2030. That means there will be tremendous work to do in the coming years to upgrade large areas of farmland, and a large-scale high-efficiency water-saving irrigation system will need to be built along with a set of related infrastructure facilities for ecological conservation, environmental protection, electricity transmission and land management.
The water, energy, fertilizer, pesticide and labor saved per mu of the high-standard farmland each year is expected to amount to about 500 yuan ($77.35). So if the plan can realize its aim of increasing grain production by about 80-100 kilograms per mu, it will prove well worth the investment.
Also with higher utilization efficiency of water and soil resources, agricultural pollution can be reduced, and water and soil can be better conserved.
The introduction of the plan and the construction of high-standard farmland are conducive to consolidating the foundation for national food security, and meeting the people's upgraded food consumption demands.
The efforts to construct high-standard farmland should also be integrated into the national rural vitalization project, the modernization of agriculture and rural land reform.
The implementation of the plan will then not only comprehensively promote the improvement of labor productivity in Chinese agriculture, but also help improve the livelihoods of farmers and rural residents.
To ensure that happens, governments of various levels must increase their inputs in the project to provide necessary vocational training for the rural labor force that will be set free by the upgrading of farmland and the modernization of agriculture.
With about one-sixth of the world's population, if China can hold its bowl firmly in its own hands, it will make a great contribution to resolving the food shortage in the world.