BEIJING - The Chinese government Monday unveiled more than 2.4 billion yuan (about $352 million) in new funding to ensure summer grain and oil output as extreme weather across China threatens harvests.
Severe drought in southwest China, persistent cold weather in the north and snow in Xinjiang Uygur and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions had caused "tremendous difficulties" for agricultural production, said a statement issued after an executive meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.
Local authorities should introduce more "targeted and forceful" measures to guarantee harvests of summer grain and oil production, in order to support the country's economic and social development.
The central government would offer farmers subsidies of 10 yuan per mu (0.067 hectares) on fertilizer for 53 million mu of winter wheat in 11 affected production regions, said the statement.
The same subsidy would also be given for plastic mulch for 25 million mu of corn in the provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Chongqing Municipality.
The statement said the government would add 500 million yuan to a special fund for high-yield production, after having earmarked 600 million yuan earlier this year. The new funds would be mainly used in northeast China where rice grows well.
The government also decided to raise purchase prices of rapeseed for state reserves to 3.9 yuan per kg from 3.7 yuan per kg.
The government would allocate another 1 billion yuan for the purchase of agricultural machinery in addition to the 14.5 billion yuan that had been allocated earlier this year.
Another 150 million yuan would be given to farmers for fodder purchase and transportation in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, the statement said.
It said the government planned to launch subsidies for feed for fertile pigs and would step up construction of irrigation facilities.