China Fixing Polluted Land and Upgrading Farmland

China will spend $440 billion over three years to improve village sanitation and clean up the heavily polluted rural environment.

They will build clean rural toilets, treat household waste, and construct village sewage treatment plants.

Large amounts of land and water have been contaminated as a result of negligible waste treatment infrastructure, the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides, and the construction of substandard backyard industrial plants.

China will make about 90% of its contaminated farmland fit for crops by the end of 2020. China has declared 3.33 million hectares – an area the size of Belgium – too polluted to grow crops, according to a 2013 survey. As many as 10 million hectares are contaminated by heavy metals, according to 2015 figures.

China has been building drought and flood-resistant farmland since 2011. iBy the end of 2018, China has already developed 640 million mu (42 million hectares) of upgraded farmland, with grain output increasing 100 kg per mu on average.

Water, fertilizer, and pesticide consumption on the farmland fell 24.3 percent, 13.8 percent and 19.1 percent, respectively, per mu. The construction of more high-output fields, coupled with higher agricultural mechanization levels and improved varieties of crops will increase agricultural yields. China aims to develop 800 million mu of high-standard farmland by 2020, and 1 billion by 2022. China has about 1.8 billion mu of farmland.

In 2017, China’s total arable land fell to 134.86 million hectares (2.0 billion mu), a decline of 60,900 hectares compared to the previous year.

China has 4 million hectares of greenhouses. They produce nearly 1 trillion yuan ($145 billion) worth of vegetables each year. Electrifying the air in greenhouses can boost vegetable output by 20 to 30 percent. Pesticide use has decreased 70 to 100 per cent. And fertilizer consumption has dropped more than 20 percent.

Chinese has for more than 90 percent of the plastic greenhouse used worldwide.


Old Greenhouses in China


New Modern guttered greenhouses

China developed a national database and analysis best farming practices that is customized based on local soil and other conditions.

25 thoughts on “China Fixing Polluted Land and Upgrading Farmland”

  1. in china, govt directly help farmers with funds and techologies. outside china, NGOs also help famers. Their CEOs get the lion shares

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  2. True: the massive smear campaign against nuclear was quite successful in damaging the economics of nuclear. It would have been really good if we kept building CANDUs, replacing coal in provinces like Alberta where coal has been important, over the last few decades.

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  3. China has developed a method of boosting crop growth using irradiated isotopes, otherwise known as nuclear waste. It is the most efficient use of reactor waste and you should pay no attention to the elephant-sized cats and dogs roaming the neighborhoods near such advanced greenhouses. Governments are the only ones qualified to run such rapid crop growth facilities.

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  4. Are you saying France and Ontario showed you can’t have a viable nuclear construction industry when you don’t build any for 30 years at a time? Wait, that sounds like a bunch of other countries also…

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  5. Nice. I don’t really agree with the 15-years for decommissioning and green-fielding, since we’re basically talking about knocking down concrete that presumably wasn’t contaminated by an accident.

    Government must own the fuel, as it does in USA, because the irradiated fuel must be stored over many lifetimes – contract businesses to administer this.

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  6. Nuclear must be a government monopoly due to one simple reason: each NPP is a 100-years project, from construction commencement, about 4 years (normal, not EU) construction time, 60 years online, 20 years extended subject to condition (highly profitable), and about 15 years decomissioning and greenfielding. Any corporation, with any executives, no matter how benevolent and enlightened, can have a 100-year project. It is at least three times further than the longest projects, i.e. massive offshore gas ventures with 35 years plans and contracts. Same for electric grid: any economy needs a stable, most economically efficient, and integral power grid. It is a matter of competitiveness on the global scale, also a matter of survival when something goes bad, i.e. windy weather with high-flying trucks and roofs. Competing corporations cannot form such a grid for the very reason of them being competitors. Same with NPPs: they win long term, the economy wins with them long term, but short term they lose to some hyped thing like a forest of wind turbines. Those things will already be gone and forgotten when NPP is still fairly new. The economy of NPP with proper fuel cycle is an economic advantage for the whole economy, but they lose on hype, scare and bimbonomics.

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  7. There was some bizaare papers out a few years ago that static fields actually stimulate plant growth. Pretty wierd but you use what works
    i suppose.

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  8. Iron Ox is a startup developing robotic greenhouses. There are lots of other commercial capitalist companies developing agricultural technology

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  9. Look at what eg: France or Ontario did with nuclear. They are basically capitalist economies, but electric power (at least the distribution) has a large element of natural monopoly, so making the electric grid government controlled makes a lot of sense.

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  10. History hath spoken. In US, despite being the origin on the AC power grid (Mr Tesla’s work), after a whole century capitalism failed to create a stable power grid; instead, it is a fragile patchwork of private (or competing) grids. In Japan, the nonsense goes even further: they have two incompatible grids with 50Hz and 60Hz. Technologically and economically that is utter madness, but it is what is. Now look what capitalism is doing to the best power source: nuclear fission. Then look what China, Russia, Iran and other “wrong countries” do with it. Physics works the same for all, economics of power generation is based on physics, hence the difference in end result is due to all that social mud, all the isms and such.

    Important note: Russia has been capitalist for 30 years. China has been capitalist even longer, despite all the red veneer.

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  11. China has 4x the population density of the USA so you’re probably asking the wrong question

    EDIT: and the USA has 70% more arable land, and of higher quality, on top of that

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  12. What does “Electrifying the Air” mean?
    “Electrifying the air in greenhouses can boost vegetable output by 20 to 30 percent.”

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  13. Sounds like a worthwhile investment. Is this something that can only happen in a centralized economy or can capitalism produce similar programs via market incentives?

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