Respected Chinese agriculturists said Wednesday that the state should popularize water-conservation techniques in farming to effectively safeguard the nation's food supply and ecology.
The Ministry of Science and Technology brought more than 20 experts together Wednesday to discuss the feasibility of the state's key project on water-conservation farming techniques, due to be carried out from now until 2005.
Shi Yuanchun, member of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that the project would help technological progress in farming.
Wang Xiaofang, a senior ministry official in charge of agriculture and social development in rural areas, said that the project focused on improving utilization of water resources for agriculture and helping relevant research and development.
Wang said that China planned to invest 200 million yuan (US$24 million) in the project, which was expected to produce about 100 new genetic plant materials for propagation, 30 new farm species, about 60 water-conservation techniques, 100 high-tech farm products and about 70 patents.
Chinese agriculturists say that water remains a bottleneck to farming.
At present, available per capita water resources in China stand at 2,220 cubic meters. It is estimated that by 2030 the figure will drop to 1,760 cubic meters, close to the widely-accepted danger limit of 1,700 cubic meters.
(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2002)