Last year China's farmland shrank by 1.32 percent to 125.93 million hectares, but its afforested areas increased by 0.67 percent to 230.72 million hectares from 2001.
The figures were released by the Ministry of Land and Resources on Thursday in its "2002 China Land and Resources Communique".
The country's farmland acreage decreased by a total of 1.68 million hectares last year, since China turned 1.42 million hectares of farmland into forests and adopted other measures including agricultural structure adjustment, according to the communique,
The communique also showed that altogether 196,500 hectares of farmland were used for construction and 56,400 hectares of farmland were destroyed by natural disasters in 2002. But the restored farmland acreage was 7,900 hectares more than the occupied and destroyed acreage.
All China's provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities realized a farmland occupancy and restoration balance in 2002.
(Xinhua News Agency April 5, 2003)