POLLUTION HITS CHINA’s FARMLAND

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POLLUTION HITS CHINA’s FARMLAND

 user 2007-04-23 at 11:50:00 am Views: 92
  • #17879

    Pollution ‘hits China’s farmland’
    Farmers’ livelihoods are on the line
    More
    than 10% of China’s farm land is polluted, posing a “severe threat” to
    the nation’s food production, state media reports.Arable land shrank by
    nearly 307,000 hectares (760,000 acres) in the first 10 months of 2006,
    government officials were quoted as saying.Excessive fertiliser use,
    polluted water, heavy metals and solid wastes are to blame, the reports
    said.Rapid economic growth has had a damaging impact on China’s
    environment.Its cities, countryside, waterways and coastlines are among
    the most polluted in the world.The Ministry of Land and Resources said
    agricultural land in China fell to 121.8 million hectares (30 million
    acres) by the end of October 2006 – a loss of 306,800 hectares since
    the start of the year.Heavy metals alone contaminate 12m tonnes of
    grain each year, causing annual losses of 20bn yuan ($2.6bn), China’s
    Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry as saying.Land and Resources
    Minister Sun Wensheng said agricultural land in China must not be
    allowed to fall below 120 million hectares.”This is not only related to
    social and economic development, but is also vital to the long-term
    interests of the country,” he was quoted as saying.China’s government
    has promised to spend heavily to clean up the country’s heavily
    polluted environment.But clean-up efforts are often thwarted by lax
    enforcement of laws and administrative activity at a local level,
    correspondents say