China pushes fertilizer-replacement program


China's Ministry of Agriculture Wednesday launched a program to replace chemical fertilizes with organic alternatives in 100 counties and districts.

The central government will earmark a fund to support the fertilizer-replacement plan which targets tea, vegetables, and fruit, said Yu Xinrong, vice minister of agriculture.

The ministry will provide subsidies for farmers who use organic fertilizers and encourage social capital to participate in the program, he said at an implementation meeting held in the central China province of Hubei.

Some rules will be amended and new policies unveiled to stay in line with the green development of agriculture, he added.

Last year, China's use of agricultural fertilizers saw almost zero-growth for the first time since the country's reform and opening-up, said the vice minister.

Yet fruit, vegetables, and tea still face problems in quality and excessive use of inputs in production. The replacement program is necessary to increase the supply of quality and green agricultural products, said Yu.

According to a Chinese plan, key growing areas for fruit, vegetables, and tea should cut chemical fertilizer use by at least 20 percent by 2020.

Currently, less than 50 percent of China's 3 billion tonnes of livestock excrement each year undergoes proper treatment.


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