Mitigating the effects of environmental damage
Northwest China accounts for 32% of the country’s territory. Despite this region’s size, only a small percentage of China’s population lives here, meaning most of the arable land is devoted to the production of crops sold in other parts of China and exported throughout the world.
Located far from the ocean and surrounded by high mountains, northwest China’s continental, dry climate with low precipitation means most of the cultivated land depends on irrigation and water conservancy techniques. Centuries of intensive farming, combined with little rainfall, have resulted in vegetation loss, deforestation, and soil erosion. These conditions typically result in boron deficient soil, which can be an obstacle for growers who want to maximize crop yields.
Xinjiang occupies the northwestern corner of the country. About half of the total crop area in Xinjiang produces winter and spring wheat and corn. The region’s cotton industry is also a major contributor to the local economy, accounting for nearly 75% of the national output.
Agriculture is a significant contributor to the economy of Gansu province with a wide variety of farmed crops. However, the majority Gansu’s output is grains, with the region producing around 8 million tons annually.
Shaanxi is also a major agricultural base and a leading producer of grain, vegetables, and cured tobacco. Most of the lower lying cultivated land is used for intensive rice and winter wheat production, while in the mountainous areas the main cereal crops is maize. Growers also produce subtropical crops such as tea and citrus fruits.