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Agriculture Regions of Mainland China

Crop Distribution

  • Although China's agricultural output is the largest in the world, only about 15% of its total land area can be cultivated.

  • China's arable land, which represents 10% of the total arable land in the world, supports over 20% of the world's population. Of this approximately 1.4 million square kilometers of arable land, only about 1.2% (116,580 square kilometers) permanently supports crops and 525,800 square kilometers are irrigated.

  • The land is divided into approximately 200 million households, with an average land allocation of just 0.65 hectares (1.6 acres).

  • China's limited space for farming has been a problem throughout its history, leading to chronic food shortage.

  • While the production efficiency of farmland has grown over time, efforts to expand to the west and the north have met with limited success, as such land is generally colder and drier than traditional farmlands to the east.

  • Since the 1950s, farm space has also been pressured by the increasing land needs of industry and cities.


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