NPC deputy urges rotating crops to limit soil pollution

By Zhang Liying
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 13, 2019
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Xie Deti, a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), has emphasized the essential role that crop rotation, together with fallow systems, plays in preventing and controlling pollution of arable land in China.

NPC deputy Xie Deti, also professor of soil science at Southwest University, stands outside the Great Hall of the People. [Photo courtesy of Xie Deti]

Xie, who is a professor of soil science at Southwest University, said that the protection of arable land must be strengthened, as its quantity and quality directly impact food safety and security.

A system that rotates crops while leaving some fields fallow is an effective and cost-efficient way to control arable land pollution and develop green agriculture, he said in an exclusive interview with on Sunday.

The rotation system can raise the fertility of the soil, while the fallow system helps to ease the burden on arable land by reducing the use of land and water resources, Xie said.

He said that trees and flowers can be planted on heavily polluted land not suitable for grain and vegetables, and crop varieties that absorb a small amount of heavy metals are recommended for moderately polluted land.

These measures can make good use of polluted land while avoiding damage to the human body, Xie explained.

The Chinese authorities introduced trials of rotating crops with fallow systems in 2016, and the arable land covered under these measures was expected to reach 24 million mu (1.6 million hectares) last year.

China’s top legislature passed a law on soil pollution prevention and control on Aug. 31, 2018, as a part of ongoing initiatives to combat soil pollution.

Xie said that the law, which went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year, was based on extensive consultation and has stipulations for almost all contexts involving soil pollution.

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