The central government has allocated a combined 44.58 billion yuan (US$7.31 billion) in subsidies to herders to not overgraze animals on pastoral and semi-pastoral areas across China in the past three years, the government said on its website Monday. More than 80 percent of China’s grasslands was affected by the subsidies. Monitoring conducted last year showed that the area affected by overgrazing had shrunk to 23 percent, down 7 percentage points from 2010, while the land yielded a decade-high 1.05 billion metric tons of fresh grass, it added. The average annual per capita income of farmers and herders in those areas in 2012 also rose to 5,924 yuan, up 31.8 percent from 2010.
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