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Li reassures farmers of government subsidies

By Li Yang in Nanning | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-10 00:55

Premier Li Keqiang assured farmers of government agricultural subsidies and encouraged them to improve productivity during a visit to the rural suburbs of Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Tuesday.

Li walked along a muddy footpath in a rain shower to see sugarcane fields in Chongtao village, where he asked local farmers details about sugarcane planting and price fluctuations. He also learned about the farmers' living conditions and asked if they received government agricultural subsidies.

"Sugar is a necessity for the people. Your hard work is indispensable. The government will assist you by providing cheaper agricultural means of production and maintaining sugar prices at a proper level," Li was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.

He encouraged the farmers to improve production capacity, initiate more agricultural cooperation, lower production costs and plant good varieties of sugarcane to improve the quality of their product.

"The government will take concrete action to protect sugarcane farmers' interests, which not only assists farmers, but also safeguards consumers' interests," he said.

Li also visited the neighboring mountain village of Tanliang, where he talked with dozens of residents under a large tree after inspecting their fields.

"Is it hard for you to work as migrant workers?" he asked.

One villager replied, "Harvesting sugarcane is hard work but we can easily find a job within 20 minutes walking and make 150 yuan ($24) a day."

Li responded, "It saves time and money if you can find a job near your home. You can have more time to take care of your family. ... Despite our hard physical work, we should always maintain hopes in our hearts for a bright future."

The villagers said access to water and poor roads are two headaches for them. "We hope to use running water and walk on asphalt roads one day," they said.

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