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Free Land Fertilization to Benefit 100 Million Farmers
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China has earmarked 900 million yuan (US$116.9 million) for an efficient arable land fertilization program this year, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday.


The program will cover 33.3 million hectares of farmland, and at least 100 million farmers will benefit from it, the ministry added.


It is believed that the program will use less chemical fertilizer, reduce cost of agricultural production and help increase grain output.


In 2005 China invested 200 million yuan (US$25.8 million) in a pilot project for efficient land fertilization. The money was increased to 500 million yuan (US$64.9 million) for the purpose in 2006.


According to rough statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, last year the efficient fertilization program operated on a trial basis in 17.3 million hectares of farmland in 600 counties. Approximately 500,000 tons of chemical fertilizer was saved, with utility ratio of the material raised by five percent year-on-year.


Thanks to efficient land fertilization, wheat output increased by more than 400,000 tons in 93 wheat-producing counties.


(Xinhua News Agency May 6, 2007)

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