Mar. 21, 2018
The opening session of the first meeting of the 13th National People's Congress was held at the Great Hall of the People on March 5th, 2018. After the meeting, the "ministers' passage" in the North Hall was opened. When answering reporters’ questions, Minister Han Changfu stated that food security is always the top priority of governance. MOA will follow the guidelines of this meeting and meet the requirements of the Report on the Work of the Government, further stabilize and improve grain production, continue to reduce fertilizer and pesticide use and increase efficiency, and promote the green development of agriculture.
Minister Han introduced that great achievements have been made in China's grain production. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China’s agriculture has reaped good harvests for years in running. The Report on the Work of the Government specifically states that China’s grain production capacity has reached 600 billion kilograms and the Chinese people should have control over their own food supply.
When answering a reporter’s question on chemical fertilizer use in grain production, Minister Han said that since the reform and opening up, China’s grain production has increased from 300 billion kilograms to 600 billion kilograms annually. Chemical fertilizer as a fruit of scientific and technological progress can provide nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for plants and indeed plays an important role in increasing grain production. However, one cannot say that grain harvest is “fed” by chemical fertilizers. The successive grain harvests depend on policies, science and investment. Various factors such as improved varieties, agricultural mechanization and water conservancy have also played a role. It is believed that improved varieties are the leading contributor to yield growth.
Minister Han also pointed out that excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides will increase production costs and create negative ecological impacts.
Therefore, starting from the “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” period, MOA has vigorously carried out the action of “zero growth in fertilizer and pesticide use” and gained significant results. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has witnessed negative growth, and the goal of zero growth by 2020 has been achieved three years ahead of schedule.
Minister Han expressed that for next step, MOA will continue to reduce fertilizer and pesticide use and increase efficiency, in accordance with the green agriculture initiative of General Secretary Xi Jinping. First, we will focus on key crop varieties, especially horticultural products such as fruit, vegetable and tea, replace chemical fertilizers with organic fertilizers, and extend green and biological prevention and control measures. Second, we will focus on new business entities and provide guidance to family farms, cooperatives and leading enterprises to take the lead in reducing chemical fertilizer and pesticide use. Third, we will vigorously promote scientific and technological innovation, advocate scientific and effective use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and advance green agricultural development by promoting government purchase of services, financial innovation, and subsidies for organic fertilizers.