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China to legislate to protect fertile black soil in northeast
Posted: December-21-2021Adjust font size:

BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- China is deliberating a new law to protect the fertile black soil in its northeastern regions as part of the efforts to ensure the country's food security and protect the ecosystem.

The draft law was submitted for its first reading on Monday at an ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

The black soil, or chernozem soil, found in China's northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning and in some parts of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, produces about one-quarter of the country's total grain output, making it key to China's food supply.

But years of excessive reclamation have eroded its nutrients and the chernozem layer is thinning, which threatens the country's ecological security and sustainable agricultural development.

According to an explanatory document on the draft law, provincial-level legislation has failed to establish an effective protective mechanism and the country is in need of measures designed to specifically protect the black soil.

With 37 provisions, the draft law specifies the responsibilities of the government and "agricultural production operators" to protect the black soil.

Stipulating a surveying and monitoring system for the soil, the draft says that when the State Council conducts its national land survey, a similar survey on the distribution, quantity, quality, and protection of the black soil would meanwhile take place to establish a "black soil archive."

Governments at or above the county level should earmark funds for black soil protection in their budgets and report their work on black soil protection to people's congresses of the corresponding level, says the draft law.

Organizations and individuals who make outstanding contributions to black soil protection would be commended and rewarded.

Lawmakers will deliberate the draft law in group discussions during the session, which will run until Friday.

Source: XinhuaEditor:
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