China grain output exceeds 500 million tons

Updated: 2007-12-24 08:34

In face of rising food prices, China scrapped export rebates for 84 agricultural products on Thursday in effort to discourage exports of farm produce. This, in effect, would help increase domestic supply.

Sun said increasing grain production would be a top priority for the ministry in 2008, along with a boost in cooking oil and live pigs. Rising pork and cooking oil prices were major factors behind the rising CPI figure.

Sun also said the average income of rural people would be expected to top 4,000 yuan ($543) per person this year, an increase of seven percent from last year. The figure was still far below the more than 10,000 yuan per person for urban residents.

The ministry said it would strive to keep grain output above 500 million tons next year, and hoped to increase the income of farmers at the same time, Sun said.

However, circumstances were not favorable due to a tight global grain supply, decreasing rural labor and farmland and higher production costs driven by rising energy prices.

The extreme weather as a result of global climate change would also make agricultural disaster prevention and reduction more difficult.

National disasters in the first nine months of 2007 resulted in a loss of 44.5 million tons of grain.

China, however, has been over 95 percent self-sufficient in grain production in the last 10 years and its grain security was guaranteed, said Agriculture Vice Minister Yin Chengjie earlier this year.

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