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Regulation stresses farmland protection

Updated: Apr 23,2021 09:41

Management and protection of arable land, especially permanent basic farmland, should be enhanced under the set "red line", to underpin national food security, Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council executive meeting on April 21.

The meeting adopted draft revisions to the Regulation on Implementing the Land Management Law.

“Given China's huge population, its per capita arable land is smaller than half of the world average,” the Premier said at the meeting.

Premier Li recalled his inspection tour to Guangyuan city in Southwest China’s Sichuan province two days earlier, during which he went to the fields to learn about grain production and villagers’ incomes from farming and working outside their hometown.

“They told me that although jobs outside have become the main source of their income, farming still makes up a certain share,” Premier Li said, praising them for fine production from limited land.

“The regulation should help firmly guard the 'red line' for farmland protection.”

In addition to strict controls over turning agricultural land, especially farmland, into areas used for construction, specific restrictions should target transformation of farmland into other types of agricultural land, such as forests and grassland, Premier Li said.

The draft clarifies detailed procedures for land expropriation, from pre-notification to approval, and standardized compensation.

It also stresses meeting farmers’ land needs for housing and protecting their due rights and interests.

The draft also specifies detailed land inspection systems and measures for enhanced supervision and examination, and imposes more severe punishments for irregularities, such as destroying farmland and illegal land occupation.

Using arable land for non-grain purposes will be punished, it added.