Crop rotation system to combat crisis: COA

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff — The Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA) will propose a crop rotation system at an inter-ministerial meeting on food safety to be held tomorrow, as part of the government’s efforts to counter the global food crisis and the consequent rising price of international food prices, according to COA officials. The COA has invited relevant experts to investigate water resources; climate and soil conditions; and special planting conditions in farming land areas in different parts of the island to facilitate trial growing of suitable crop seedlings.

Under the proposal, the COA has listed several crops to be tested in the rotation system, including corn, soybean, feed-rice, tapioca and oats. It will come up with related enforcement measures for the proposal in the second half of the year.

Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar types of crops in the same area in sequential seasons. Such practices provide myriad benefits, such as avoiding the build up of pathogens and pests which often occurs when one species is continuously grown in the same area. A traditional element of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals and other crops. Crop rotation can also improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants.