CHINA / National

China's farmers face slowing income growth
Updated: 2006-07-07 22:41

China's Minister of Agriculture warned on Friday the nation's farmers will be struggling this year to match their income growth rate from last year.

Farmers made an average income of 1,238 yuan (US$154.75) from agricultural production in the first six months of this year, up 4.5 percent from the same period last year.

Minister Du Qinglin Friday told a national agricultural conference that it would be difficult to continue the growth.

Figures from the ministry show the per capita income for rural migrant workers was 723 yuan (US$90.37) in the first half, a rise of 14.5 percent over the same period last year.

Du said the slowing growth was due to falling grain and livestock prices, and many farmers earned less this year from livestock sales.

Meanwhile, rising prices of diesel, fertilizers, pesticides and other materials increased production costs, Du said.

The growth rate of income from rural migrant workers had also dropped, and was expected to make a smaller contribution to farmers' incomes this year.

Du said the government would maintain financial support for farmers, and other favorable policies on developing quality and increasing their share of the processed products market.

The per capita net income of rural residents was 3,255 yuan (US$406.87) in 2005, a real growth of 6.2 percent, but 0.6 percentage points lower than the previous year.