China turns 34 mln hectares of marginal farmland into forest, grassland: white paper

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BEIJING, June 30 (Xinhua) — China has turned over 34 million hectares of marginal farmland into forests and grasslands in the last 20 years, accounting for more than 4 percent of newly-added green area on the globe, said a white paper released by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration Tuesday.

Launched in 1999, the project to convert marginal farmland into forest and grassland has brought significant improvements to the country’s ecological environment, contributing 40.5 percent of the total afforestation area of all national key forestry projects over the last two decades, according to the white paper summarizing China’s work on the project during the period.

To support the project, the central government earmarked 517.4 billion yuan (about 73.08 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of 2019.

The project has also helped farmers increase incomes and facilitated targeted poverty alleviation. It has directly benefited about 158 million farmers and every rural household involved has received more than 9,000 yuan of subsidies as of the end of 2019.

To ensure the steady progress of the project, the white paper stressed that efforts should be made to perfect related subsidy policies and the long-term mechanism to consolidate achievement. Enditem

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