China To Begin Paying Farmers To Convert Livestock Waste To Fuel & Fertilizers

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In a bid to reduce the problems associated with extreme agricultural pollution in some parts of the country, the government of China will begin paying farmers to convert the waste products of livestock operations into fuel and fertilizers.

In other words, farmers will be incentivized to create animal-waste processing facilities, as a means of preventing the release of dangerous pollution into rivers and lakes that people rely upon for various purposes.

The announcement from the Ministry of Agriculture revealed that the aim is for these animal waste processing facilities to either treat manure so that it’s safe for disposal or to make fertilizers from it, as well as to install biogas plants to make use of captured methane for electricity or heat generation.

Reuters provides more: “The plan includes setting up recycling programs by 2020 in 200 major counties that have livestock farms. That’s less than half the 586 major counties the government says have hog and poultry farms. The agriculture ministry gave no details about the size of the subsidies, but the move could be a big step toward curbing chemical fertilizer use and cutting water pollution. …

“Biogas technology, which can help save on electrical costs, is too expensive for many farmers unless the government helps. Those researching and using organic fertilizer will also get preferential treatment on loans, taxes, power use and land rent, Zhong said. …

“In China, how to better dispose of animal waste has become a particular problem due to the fast growth of poultry and hog farming over the past decade to meet demand for higher quality meat. Chinese livestock farms generate nearly 4 billion tonnes of waste annually, according to the agriculture ministry.”

Accompanying these incentives, the plan is apparently to limit the use of various chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The goal is to achieve net-zero growth in the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides by the year 2020.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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