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China faces food security challenges: legislator

Updated: 2010-03-04 09:25
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China faces potential challenges in maintaining food security despite years of good harvest, a legislator said in Beijing Wednesday.

In some areas, farmland is often used illegally for non-agricultural purposes or abandoned by farmers who move to work in cities, posing the most serious threat to grain production, said Liu Hui, who is also deputy director of the administration of grain in the eastern Anhui province.

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Other challenges include natural disasters, low scienctific and technical level in grain production, backward infrastructure, and low grain prices that dampen the enthusiasm of both farmers and local governments.

The deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), or the top legislature, made the remarks two days before the NPC annual session starts.

Liu suggested that the government should clear the obstacles in the grain production and circulation and increase financial input in major grain producing areas to prevent possible decline in output.

China's grain output reached 530.8 million tons in 2009, exceeding 500 million tons for the third consecutive year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed.