context: The first-ever plan on green ag development sets out concrete targets to balance food production and minimise negative impacts on the ecosystem.

MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs) and five other central agencies jointly issued the ’14th 5-year plan on green ag development’, aiming to comprehensively promote green ag development by 2025 and fundamentally change the rural ecological environment by 2035. Ag production has yet to fully switch from quantity-oriented to being both quantity- and quality-oriented, states MARA. Largely based on resource exploitation, extensive ag production has led to several environmental problems such as soil degradation. Ag products subject to such circumstances fall short of the consumer’s growing demand for quality and branding.

2025 key performance indicators include

  • ag resources
    • farmland quality level reaching 4.58 from 4.76 in 2020
    • effective utilisation coefficient of irrigation water reaching 0.57 from 0.56
  • environment in ag-producing regions
    • utilisation rate of key fertilisers reaching 43 percent from 40.2 percent
    • utilisation rate of key pesticides reaching 43 percent from 40.6 percent
    • utilisation rate of straw surpassing 86 percent
    • utilisation rate of animal manure reaching 80 percent from 75.9 percent
    • recycling rate of plastic film reaching 85 percent from 80 percent
  • ag ecosystem
    • treated degraded farmland increasing by 933,000 ha
    • black soil protection in the northeast increasing by 6.7 million ha
  • supplies of green products
    • green, organic and GI (geographical indications) ag products reaching 60,000 from 50,000
    • pass rate of ag product quality and safety tests reaching 98 percent from 97.8 percent

Detailed requirements include

  • protecting and using ag resources
  • controlling non-point source pollution
  • restoring the ag ecosystem
  • building green ag industrial chains
  • developing green tech

The plan is light on details related to ag emissions, but calls for reducing the energy intensity of major ag products. It also calls for developing low-carbon ag industrial chains by promoting the use of energy efficient machinery and renewable sources of energy.