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Land Survey to Guide Agri-growth
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China's geological survey authorities have decided to make a special "genetic analysis" of the country's 1.55 million square kilometers of arable land over the next seven years to provide experts and planners with a scientific blueprint to guide the country's agricultural development, a senior official said Wednesday in Beijing.

The project, the first of its kind in terms of scale in the world, will reveal the soil distribution of nearly 60 chemicals, especially metal pollutants and chemical fertilizer remnants, which will assist in determining the most suitable agricultural activities for specific areas.

Further aiding agricultural development, the results of this evaluation will contribute to the establishment of a risk management and evaluation system as well as a long-term monitoring system for the nation's agricultural environment.

The China Geological Survey (CGS) has already launched the survey in three provincial regions - East China's Zhejiang Province, Southwest China's Sichuan Province and Central China's Hunan Province, three of China's major agricultural centers.

Experts say the research will provide opportunities for Chinese agricultural producers to develop pollution-free "green products" and promote exports.

Vice-Minister of Land and Resources Shou Jiahua said that the survey is an example of scientific endeavors supporting the country's economic development.

Shou said that her ministry would also make contributions to development in traditional fields such as the search for water in dry western China.

At the national conference held by CGS Wednesday, the discovery of 50-odd water sources in western China was announced - a find equivalent to approximately 10 large-scale reservoirs capable of providing the region with over 10 billion cubic meters of fresh underground water annually.

(China Daily February 20, 2003)

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