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Agricultural pollution in focus

2010-02-10 08:39 BJT

Agricultural pollution is another feature of the first national census on pollution sources. Rather than many people's impression, waste water from agriculture and people's daily lives greatly exceeds the amount of polluted water produced by urban factories and industries.

Untreated waste water running into the river. This has become a common sight in China's large rural areas.

As many counties focus much on agricultural production, efforts on environmental protection have long been ignored. Many regions lack basic waste disposal systems, and facilities to treat polluted water.

But the long-term threat is highlighted by the newly released national census on pollution sources. It shows that more than 80% of the country's water pollution comes from agricultural production and people's daily lives. This means water pollution in rural areas is much worse than in urban areas. In terms of chemical pollutants such as nitrogen the same picture.

Much of the agricultural pollution comes from farms. Plastic materials used for greenhouses are not biodegradable. And booming rural enterprises are also devastating the fragile environment. Mine exploration triggered a number of pollution and poisoning cases last year.

Environmental protection authorities are determined to pay more attention to rural pollution.

Zhuang Guotai, Official of Ministry of Environmental Protection, said, "We should not only focus on environmental problems in the cities and urban industries, but we also need to focus more on rural environmental problems."

The central government has set up a special fund for environmental protection in rural areas. More than 4.5 billion yuan is expected to be spent this year, to deal with rural pollution, and provide technical support.

Some villages in affluent provinces have introduced environmental facilities and methods. Farmers in this Zhejiang village are using flush toilets. Waste water flows to a local water purification center for recycling. Farmers are learning to classify their garbage.

A farmer said, "I put all the garbage from the kitchen in one pack, and put plastic bottles in another pack for recycling."

More effort is needed to set up a complete waste disposal system. And it could be a long-term task to improve the habits of hundreds of million farmers.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: