Water and Soil Conservation: The Heart of Green Agricultural Development
Water and soil conservation should be given top priority to narrow the gap causing the shortage of water and soil resources necessary to produce safe agricultural products.
China’s agriculture has seized enormous achievements over the past four decades since its reform and opening up began in the late 1970s. Meanwhile, the ecology has paid a heavy price, which is influencing the safety of agricultural products.
The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) pointed out that “as socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. We now face a contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.” The glaring imbalance in agriculture is embodied by the people’s growing demand for safe, quality farm produce and insufficient supply. As a result, green development of agriculture is a major solution to the principal
social contradiction of the new era.
It is worth noting that water and soil conservation remains the core and foundation of green agricultural development. It is not just an issue related to agricultural development and food safety, but also a strategic problem concerning the healthy development of the Chinese people.
To realize the green development of agriculture and ensure the quality of agricultural products, the top priority must be ensuring that agriculture is grown with enough high-quality water and soil. It is no secret that China’s per capita water resource measures only a fourth of the world average, and that the available water resources are scattered unevenly in the country. Rapid industrialization and urbanization have devoured a growing share of quality water and soil. Agricultural production has continuously pushed the limits on the supply of quality water and soil.
China’s development in agriculture has overcome the shortage of farm produce. Presently, agriculture should be adjusted according to the concept of green development and the fundamental goal should be providing 1.3 billion Chinese people with healthy, safe and quality agricultural products. Water and soil conservation should be given top priority to narrow the gap causing the shortage of water and soil resources necessary to produce safe agricultural products.
First, soil quality needs to be monitored and improved. The strictest regulations on soil conservation should be implemented. Meanwhile, multiple effective measures should be adopted to improve the quality of soil.
Second, water pollution must be prevented, and clean water conserved. Suitable water conservation technology should be promoted to increase the efficiency of irrigation in the agricultural industry. At the same time, comprehensive measures should be taken to control the total amount of water usage and the efficiency of irrigation and meet the agricultural needs for quality water in accordance with the Opinions of the State Council on Applying the Strictest Water Resources Control System released in 2012. Moreover, law enforcement tasked with environment protection should be reinforced and strictly prevent factories from polluting water.
Third, diversified mechanisms for ecological compensation should be established for the conservation of water and soil resources. According to the 2016 reform plan jointly released by China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance on ecology-oriented agricultural subsidies as well as the requirements of China’s “No.1 Central Document” in 2017, compensation should cover all areas conducive to the safety of agricultural products such as resources, industrial development and waste recycling, to improve mechanisms for ecological compensation, conserve water and soil for agricultural use and comprehensively develop agriculture in a green manner.
July 4, 2017: Beautiful utiful mountains and waters in a village e in Zhejiang Province nce in southeastern China. Water and soil conservation is the heart of green agricultural l development. by y Zhang Cheng/xinhua nhua
April 28, 2017: Drones spray pestcides onto wheat fields in a village in Shandong Province. The eastern coastal province is actively developing ecologically friendly and highly efficient agriculture. by Zhao Yuguo/xinhua