Advisor Calls for Launching "Fertile Soil Project"

China should give priority to the quality of farmland so as to improve farmland productivity and the efficiency of agricultural input, an expert said Monday.

Liu Xuelan, a research fellow with the Foreign Exchange Center of the Agriculture Department of Henan provincial government, said outstanding problems facing farmland in China include decreasing soil fertility and chemical fertilizer efficiency, and growing environmental pollution of farm produce and underground water.

Liu, a member of the Ninth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top advisory body, which concluded its annual session Monday, said the problems were caused by irrational fertilizer application and irrational ways to apply fertilizer.

She advocates the establishment of a fertile soil project across the country to protect and improve the quality of farmland soil.

Such a project requires scientific application of fertilizer and the adoption of other measures to increase farmland productivity and fertilizer efficiency with a view to ensuring sustainable agricultural development, she said.

(People’s Daily 03/12/2001)