In 2015 China's Ministry of Agriculture introduced two Actions that seek to achieve zero growth in the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides by 2020. Success in reaching these targets will help control agricultural non-point source pollution, increase cost efficiency, energy conservation and emission reductions, help to ensure the safety and quality of the national grain supply and agricultural products and the safety of the ecological environment, and realize the sustainable development of agriculture. However, successful implementation will be crucial. This article considers the main contents of the Actions and analyzes their feasibility from the perspectives of policy formulation, local practices, technical support and achievements. We identify problems and challenges and suggest that zero growth of chemical fertilizer and pesticide use can be achieved by undertaking basic research on the factors that shape the use of farm chemicals, making improvements to the monitoring and statistical system for chemical fertilizer and pesticide use, setting up demonstration projects and enhancing policies formulated to reduce chemical fertilizer and pesticide use.
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Vol. 9 • No. 1