China will spend about 1.7 trillion yuan($247 billion) to increase the quality of arable land and to promote urbanization.
The country will divide its land into nine zones for land consolidation over the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), according to a plan released on February 15.
Land consolidation refers to the rational use of land. In the case of farming, parcels of land are consolidated to provide larger holdings.
Faster development of "high-standard cropland" will be a priority, Zhuang Shaoqin, head of the planning bureau of the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), told a news conference on the blueprint.
The target refers to large-scale, contiguous plots of land with fertile soil and modern farming facilities. This type of farmland can maintain stable and high yields and has sound ecological condition and strong capacity to resist natural disasters.
At least 26.7 million hectares of high-yield farmland will be added by 2020, he said. The country has created the same amount of farmland meeting those standards from 2011 to 2015.
Higher quality arable land will see a 40-billion-kg increase in China's food production capacity, an official with the MLR said.
Meanwhile, urban and suburban residents will be better integrated and urbanization will be promoted with improved infrastructure and environment in city outskirts.
Per capita annual income of farmers will increase by 750 yuan during the period.
(Xinhua News Agency February 15, 2017)