China has upgraded up to 6.7 million hectares of low yield farmland in its efforts for comprehensive agricultural development since 1998.
Small irrigation systems including water saving irrigation schemes are the key part of the efforts, an official of the Agriculture Ministry said Thursday.
With the improvement, the previously low yield farmland has become more capable of withstanding natural disasters such as drought and flood, with a steady increase in production.
Statistics show that the comprehensive agricultural development program resulted in 405.4 billion yuan (US$49 billion) in agricultural value added from 1998 to 2001.
Meanwhile, the program has helped stimulate the demand for investment in rural areas and improve farmers' purchasing power, the official said.
(Xinhua News Agency October 4, 2002)