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China announces $10B rural support
Updated: 2009-04-22 22:33

BEIJING -- China's State Council, or Cabinet, Wednesday announced measures to support agriculture, given the negative impact of the global downturn.

The measures were taken during a Council executive meeting, chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

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The meeting was told that the global downturn was still worsening and  its negative impact on agricultural production and the rural economy had become more obvious, with global commodity demand and prices slumping.

More should be done to stabilize agricultural production and increase farmers' income, according to the meeting.

It said 3 billion yuan (US$439.2 million) in central funding would be allocated to support building standard pig and dairy farms.

Strong steps must be taken to boost rural employment by increasing training and financial support, it said.

The meeting urged better methods in the state purchase and reserve of farm staples and promotion of agro-processing companies. It also demanded  greater effort to improve the agriculture product circulation system and quality and safety supervision.

It said 65 billion yuan (US$9.5 billion) in central investment this year would go to fund the construction and improvement of rural infrastructure, including education, health care and irrigation.

Attendees also approved a draft regulation on lottery management. The regulation covers ticket issues and sales and fund management. The regulation would be publicly released after further revision, it said.