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China Unveils Five-Year Plan for Agricultural Green Development
by Lea Siebert
Advisor for Agribusiness Dialogue (DCZ)
11 October 2021
On 23 August, the Chinese government unveiled a plan for the green development of the country's agricultural sector over the next five years.
The plan, jointly issued by six departments including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, identified resource protection, pollution control, restoration of agricultural ecology, and the development of a low-carbon agricultural industrial chain as the key tasks for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).
With high-quality development as the theme, deepening structural reform of the agricultural supply-side as the main line, and building a green, low-carbon and circular agricultural industrial system as the focus, the plan makes systematic arrangements for the green development of agriculture during the 14th Five-Year Plan period. By 2025, China aims to significantly improve the utilization of agricultural resources, the environmental quality of producing areas, the agricultural ecosystem, the supply of green products, and the ability to reduce emissions and sequester carbon.
The plan focuses on key areas and weak links in green development, focusing on strengthening the protection and utilization of agricultural resources, strengthening the prevention and control of agricultural nonpoint source pollution, strengthening the protection and restoration of agricultural ecology, and building a green and low-carbon agricultural industrial chain.
For the protection of cultivated land, the plan calls for strict adherence to the red line of 1.8 billion mu of cultivated land, resolutely curbing the conversion of cultivated land into non-agricultural land and especially preventing the conversion into non-grain land. The quality of cultivated land. Especially the black soils in northeast China, will be protected and improved. The plan encourages to preserve the soil in agricultural production and strives to also make use of up to 93% of polluted soils until 2025 without compromising food safety.
To prevent agricultural nonpoint source pollution, the plan is strengthening the governance of key river basins and promotes the reduction of agricultural inputs, cleaner production, recycling of waste, and ecological industrial models.
With regard to the issue of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, which is widely concerned by the society, the plan strictly implements the requirement of striving for carbon peak by 2030, and it states three measures to achieve this. One is to organize expert teams to scientifically measure the potential of carbon sequestration; second, formulate practical implementation plans with clear priorities, timetables and roadmaps; third, establish a monitoring and evaluation system, set up monitoring stations in different regions and production scenarios, and carry out long-term positioning and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions and farmland carbon sequestration capacity. At the same time, in terms of technical support, the plan focuses on both carbon reduction and carbon fixation.
The plan proposes to strengthen the driving force of both major factors, science & technology and policies. On the one hand, China will improve the green technology innovation system and strengthen the driving force of science and technology for green agricultural development, accelerate independent innovation for green agricultural development, establish a technological system for green agricultural development, promote a precise reduction in input of factors of production, intensive and efficient production technologies, ecological recycling of industrial models, complete facilities and equipment, and promote the green transformation of agricultural science and technology. On the other hand, the central government will make efforts to improve institutions and mechanisms to increase the institutional momentum for green agricultural development, establish targeted accountability, assessment systems, and reward and punishment mechanisms for green agricultural development, strengthen institutional force to comply with the rules, improve market mechanisms, and encourage public participation. China will accelerate the shift from quantitative to quality-oriented agricultural development, and effectively change the development model of agriculture that relies too much on resource consumption.
1. China unveils 5-year plan for agricultural green development. In: Chinadaily. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202109/08/WS61386752a310efa1bd66e2f4.html
2. 农业农村部 国家发展改革委 科技部 自然资源部 生态环境部 国家林草局关于印发 《“十四五”全国农业绿色发展规划》的通知.In: State Council of PRC , http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/zhengceku/2021-09/07/content_5635867.htm ( Accessed: 08.10.2021)