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China promotes water-saving irrigation

BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Water Resources said on Monday that China's water-saving irrigation technologies have reduced the amount of water used per mu (667 square meters) of farmland to 361 cubic meters from 420 cubic meters in 2000.

Speaking at a press conference held in Beijing, vice minister Li Guoying said that water conservation is necessary in agriculture, the top use of water, because per capita water resources in China are only 28 percent of the global average.

Of the country's 952 million mu of farmland with access to irrigation, 214 million mu use highly effective water-saving measures such as low-pressure pipes, spray irrigation, and drip irrigation, Li said.

He said that water-saving irrigation has helped conserve water and enhance farm yields because it can improve the efficiency of fertilizers and pesticide used for crops.

According to a national plan for water conservation, more than 60 percent of farmland eligible for irrigation will use water-saving measures by 2020.

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