China's water-saving irrigation area reaches 37.8M hectares

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China's water-saving irrigation area had reached 567 million mu (about 37.8 million hectares) by the end of 2020 amid water-saving efforts in agricultural production, an official said.

High-efficiency water-saving irrigation measures, such as sprinkler and pipeline irrigation, had been adopted at 350 million mu of land as of last year, Chen Mingzhong, an official with the Ministry of Water Resources, said. He announced this at a water-saving forum Saturday.

China's effective irrigation area has grown from 240 million mu in 1949 to 1.04 billion mu at present, making it the country with the largest irrigation area in the world, said Chen.

The irrigated land, which accounts for about 50 percent of China's arable land, produces 75 percent of the country's grain and over 90 percent of its cash crops, Chen said.

Chen also stressed the important role of water-saving irrigation in maintaining China's agricultural water consumption's general stability over the past 30 years, considering the expansion of irrigation areas, the rise of the probability of irrigation, and the steady increase of grain output.

Chen noted that problems and weak links still exist in China's agricultural water-saving work. He called for efforts to enhance facility upgrades in large and medium-sized irrigation districts, accelerate the construction of intelligent irrigation districts, and reform agricultural water pricing.

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