China has made progress in environmental protection and resource conservation in the agricultural sector, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu said Wednesday.
Outstanding problems have been "preliminarily contained," Han said when delivering a report at the ongoing bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
China saw zero growth in chemical fertilizer and pesticide use in 2017, achieving its target three years in advance, according to Han.
More than 60 percent of livestock excrement, straw and agricultural plastic film are utilized or recycled, while irrigation efficiency is improving, he said.
A total of 800,000 hectares of farmland have been covered by pilot programs to rotate crops or leave the land fallow for ecological conservation and sustainable production. The pilot area will be expanded to 2 million hectares this year.
The supply of green, quality farm produce has increased, and more than 97 percent of major farm produce are now up to standard.
"The country has also brought tap water to 80 percent of the rural population," Han said. "However, green development remains an arduous task for the agricultural sector."
He spoke of the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, excessive fishing and grazing, and imprudent water use.
"China will push for the development of energy-saving, environmentally friendly agriculture, expand pilot programs to replace chemical fertilizers with organic alternatives, and speed up efforts to utilize agricultural waste," he said.