Grain output to rise despite floods, drought

Updated: 2010-12-22 18:44
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BEIJING - China's grain production will rise to 546.4 billion kilograms this year, up 15.6 billion kilograms from last year, Minister of Agriculture Han Changbin said Wednesday.

Despite floods and drought, the country's grain production will increase for the seventh consecutive year, the minister said at an annual central rural work conference that concluded Wednesday.

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The minister said the increase in grain production this year is more than expected and supports the nation's overall economic growth.

Farmers' per capita net income this year is expected to grow at its fastest rate since 1984, the minister added.

The conference mapped out policies for next year's development of agriculture and rural regions.

The ministry will work to increase output in six agricultural production areas: existing major grain-production areas; production areas of important agricultural products like cotton and rape; suburban farms; production bases in eastern coastal regions; large state-run farms in regions including Xinjiang, Heilongjiang and Guangdong; and grasslands and pastoral areas.

At the Central Economic Work Conference earlier this month, policy-makers agreed to increase subsidies for agricultural production and steadily raise minimum grain purchase prices.

They also agreed to boost investment in the major grain-producing areas and water conservation facilities.

The central government has invested 828.3 billion yuan ($123.63 billion) to boost grain production and combat natural disasters like severe drought, low temperatures and floods that affected the nation's agricultural production in 2010.