China vows enhanced agricultural investment
Updated: 2012-02-02 10:18
BEIJING - China's central authorities on Wednesday said the nation will continue to step up investment and subsidies for agriculture this year in order to stabilize grain production.
A document publicized Wednesday by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, or China's cabinet, said that the country will continue to expand its fiscal budget for agriculture in 2012 and direct more of the country's fixed-asset investment toward the sector.
The document also said the country will boost investment in agricultural science and technology. It said the government should play a leading role in investment for agricultural science and ensure that the investment will create "significantly" faster growth compared to fiscal revenues.
The country will also offer more subsidies for major grain-producing areas and farming cooperatives, with direct subsidies for farmers to be increased, the document said.
It said the country would further improve the output capacity of China's 800 major grain-producing counties and support the building of production bases for vegetables, cotton, edible oil crops, and sugar.
Government data showed China's grain output rose to a record high of 571.21 million tons in 2011. The figure represented a year-on-year increase of 4.5 percent and marked the eighth consecutive year of growth for the country's grain output.
However, the document warned the Party should remain clear-minded despite the achievements as the current severe and complicated situation of the world economy and the impact of climate change pose risks and uncertainties to the nation's agricultural development.
Meanwhile, the shortage of arable land and fresh water present challenges to the sector, the document said.
According to the government paper, efforts will be further made to stabilize the raising of live pigs, as a scarcity of pork last year pushed up inflation.
The country will encourage banks to step up lending to the rural regions and support commercial banks to set up township outlets. It will continue to support micro-credit businesses to farmers while encouraging banks and rural credit cooperatives to extend more credit to small and micro-sized firms in the counties.
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