China Suspends Plan to Convert Farmland Into Forest
In 2005 the government said it would plant trees on 1.3
million ha of farmland from 2006 to 2010, but the rapid speed
of farmland losses forced the plan to be suspended, Xinhua news
agency said, citing a State Council statement released on
The report comes after China reported on Tuesday that a
18.2 percent leap in the cost of food propelled the country's
annual consumer price inflation to 6.5 percent in August, the
fastest pace in nearly 11 years.
A senior party researcher warned on Monday that inflation
becomes difficult to control once it exceeds 5 percent, while a
local paper said Beijing had told schools and colleges in the
capital not to raise canteen food prices as inflation climbs.
The government will continue to provide subsidies to
farmers who have converted their farmland into forest to
compensate their loss of income, the agency said.
Currently China has 122.07 million ha of farmland, very
close to the 120 million ha it deems necessary to ensure the
country's food supply, said Xinhua.