VI. Comprehensively Developing, Utilizing and Protecting
Land Resources for the Sustainable Development of Agriculture
China has always attached great importance to comprehensive development and utilization of mountain areas, water surfaces, grasslands and other resources to increase the output of various foodstuffs. From now on, China will continue to adhere to the principle of ``never slackening grain production and actively developing a diversified economy,'' make full use of various resources and increase the supply of meat, eggs, milk products, aquatic products, vegetables and fruit. Meanwhile China should pay attention to the protection of agricultural resources and the improvement of the ecological environment to realize the sustainable development of agriculture.
-- Gradually setting up an animal husbandry production structure conforming to the characteristics of China's resources. Since the adoption of the policy of reform and opening to the outside world, the production of grass-eating and grain-saving animal foodstuffs has developed quickly. The proportion of pork -- which consumes a fairly large amount of grain -- in the total amount of meat fell from over 90 percent in 1978 to about 70 percent at present; and the proportions of beef, mutton and fowl meat rose rapidly. By 2000, the proportions of beef, mutton and fowl meat will increase by 10 percentage points each. In farming areas, crop stalks should be used mainly to feed cattle and sheep; forge structure should be adjusted, and great efforts made to develop the production of compound feed and feed additives, green feed and southern aquatic forage. In pastoral areas China should strengthen the exploitation, protection and utilization of grassland resources to improve its stock capacity, ameliorate grasslands and grow grass artificially on a large scale, develop the forage-processing industry and raise productivity. By 2000 China's total output of meat is expected to reach 58.5 million tons and that of eggs, 17.5 million tons. The amount of meat per capita will be 45 kg and that of eggs will remain approximately at the present per-capita level.
-- Quickening the development and utilization of shallow offshore waters, beaches and inland waters. The Chinese government will persist in the principle of ``simultaneously developing aquaculture, fishing and processing, with emphasis on aquaculture,'' seek to expand the area for inland freshwater aquaculture, further utilize shallow offshore waters and beaches and develop deep-sea fishing. By 2000 the total output of aquatic products will reach 32 million tons -- 25 kg per capita.
-- Increasing the supply of fruit, vegetables and arbor foodstuffs. The Chinese government will take measures to develop fruit production by using non-cultivated land, encourage peasants to grow fruit trees and vegetables in front of and behind their houses and develop a courtyard economy. China will produce, by 2000, 62 million tons of fruit, 48 kg per capita. It will consolidate and perfect vegetable production bases around large and medium-sized cities, and encourage farming areas to expand vegetable production through intercropping, relay intercropping and oth er multi-harvest cultivation measures so as to improve the balanced supply of vegetables and enhance the capability for the effective supply of vegetables. In addition, the government is determined to speed up the reclamation of the barren hills suitable for farming, readjust the forestry structure step by step and increase the production of arbor foodstuffs.
To realize the sustained and stable growth of grain production and produce diversified foodstuffs China must handle well the relationship among population, resources and environment, strengthen the management of agricultural resources and protect the ecological environment. Since the 1980s China has made great efforts to conduct the construction of ecological agriculture and has tried every means to find a sustainable agricultural development mode that can not only increase the output of grain and other farm produce, but also help improve the ecological environment. In this period there has been a comprehensive improvement of soil erosion on over 67 million ha of land in small river valleys, and more than 2,000 experimental ecological agriculture stations of various sizes have been set up at the county, township and village levels. More"iover, China has unfolded large-scale projects for water and soil conservation throughout the country, and constructed a shelter-forest network for fields in the plains to control soil erosion. Important shelter-forest and other ecological projects in northeast, north and northwest China, on the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River and in coastal areas have taken shape. Pastoral areas have given up farming and restored animal husbandry when artificial grasslands have been constructed to prevent them from becoming deserts. All these measures have played active roles in improving China's ecological environment. China will continue to promote agricultural construction in an ecologically friendly way, start large-scale water and soil conservation, control soil erosion in small river valleys in a comprehensive way, prevent desertification and grassland deterioration, and strive to increase the coverage rate of forests. In the course of industrialization and urbanization China will continue to protect and improve the natural environment for agriculture. In this respect, it will focus on controlling environmental pollution brought about by industrial development, and popularize suitable technologies to help prevent and control industrial pollution. It will actively develop new sources of rural energy, try to slow down the destruction of vegetation and the deterioration of soil quality caused by the shortage of energy in rural areas. It will speed up the construction of hydropower facilities, reduce the proportion of coal in the energy structure, and combat the negative influences of acid rain and global warming.