The project of turning low-yield and sloping farmland into forest has produced encouraging results in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
The province covered 1.6 million hectares of land with trees in the past three years and more than 95 percent of the trees have survived, according to an investigation by the State Forestry Administration.
Shaanxi has 788,000 farming families involved so far in the national grain-for-green project, which stipulates the state provide free grain and other economic assistance in cash subsidies as well as money for buying saplings to farmers who have turned their farmland into forest and grassland.
These farmers have received 810 million kilograms of grain as well as 154 million yuan (US$18.62 million) in subsidies and 266 million yuan (US$32.2 million) for buying saplings.
China's grain-for-green and afforestation project began a trial run in 1999, and by the end of 2002, China had turned more than 6. 46 million hectares of low-yield and sloping farmland into forest and grassland.
This afforestation project covers 25 provinces, autonomous regions and cities in western China and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, involving more than 53 million farmers.
(eastday.com February 9, 2003)