China spends big on farmland improvement

China has allocated 29 billion yuan (about 4.6 billion U.S. dollars) from its central budget to improve the quality of farmland and boost grain production this year, the Ministry of Finance said Tuesday.

The funds, part of the country’s comprehensive agricultural development plan, represent a 6 billion-yuan increase, or 26.09-percent increase, from the investment in 2011, the ministry said.

Around 82.94 percent, or 24.05 billion yuan, has been used to improve the quality of medium- and low-yield lands, the ministry said.

The government plans to build 13.31 million mu (890,000 hectares) of high-quality farmland and add or improve irrigation on 25.82 million mu of land by the end of 2012, said the ministry.

These efforts are expected to boost China’s grain production capacity by 4.09 billion kilograms, according to the ministry.

China’s grain output rose 3.2 percent year on year to hit 589.57 million tonnes in 2012, marking the ninth consecutive year of growth, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show.

Xinhua