China to combat soil degradation
China’s Ministry of Agriculture will next year launch a campaign to protect and improve the quality of the nation’s soil. The Ministry claims that over 40% of the country’s soil suffers from degradation, specifically topsoil erosion in the north-east and soil acidification in southern regions, and such degradation is negatively affecting crop yields. By 2020, the Ministry hopes to have covered some 53 million ha of land with its soil protection measures, which will include making sure that usage of chemical pesticides and fertilisers does not increase. China has also said that it will use “green pest control techniques” across 30% of its total planted area by 2020.