BEIJING, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- China will advance technological innovation in the seed industry and improve farmland conservation in 2021 to ensure grain security, the country's agriculture minister said.
Calling seeds the "chip" of agriculture, Tang Renjian, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, vowed to make the development of seed industry a major task of the country's agricultural and rural modernization.
Tang urged technological breakthroughs in seeds, calling for efforts to strengthen the establishment of seed banks, the foundation of innovation in the seed industry.
China's current crop germplasm pool stores 440,000 pieces of crop resources. A new crop germplasm pool capable of storing 1.5 million pieces of various crops will be put into operation in 2021, with the pool capacity highest in the world.
Apart from boosting the seed industry, Tang underscored efforts for farmland conservation to ensure grain production.
The total arable land shall not be less than 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectares), a red line set by the Chinese government, and efforts should be made to prevent the use of arable land for non-farming purposes, said Tang.
China has added 80 million mu of high-standard farmland that can ensure stable grain yields despite droughts or excessive rain in the last two years.
The country plans to add 100 million mu of such farmland in 2021, an increase of 25 percent compared with the previous year, according to Tang. Enditem