The World Bank is to lend 100 million U.S. dollars to a program to reduce heavy metal pollution in China's largest rice-producing province.
"This project is the first of its kind supported by the World Bank in China, and will be innovative in addressing heavy metal pollution in agricultural lands," said Cao Wendao, the bank's senior agriculture economist.
The program will make plans for about 8,000 hectares of arable land in central China's Hunan Province and develop a monitoring database and risk management tool.
The lending will cover most of estimated 112 million U.S. dollars required and the rest will come from the Hunan provincial government and counties where the program is carried out from 2017 to 2023.
The program will also contain studies on sustainable financing and to be transferred to other parts of China.
Hunan produces one tenth of the country's rice production but is also home to many polluting industries. Farmland has long been polluted by industrial waste and mine tailings.