BEIJING - The Chinese government Friday initiated a relief and assistance program for eight drought-ravaged provinces, said a statement on the website of Ministry of Agriculture.
The government had implemented a grade II emergency response, meaning a 24-hour alert, daily damage reports, and the dispatching of experts and relief materials, said the statement.
The ministry had sent teams to help with relief work in the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Jangsu, Anhui, Shandong, Henan, Shaanxi and Gansu, said the statement.
The four-month drought had affected 35.1 percent of wheat crops, -- 96.11 million mu (6.4 million hectares) -- accounting for 21.7 percent of total farmland in the provinces, it said.
The wheat growing area in the eight provinces accounted for more than 80 percent of the country's total, said the statement.
The provinces have received little rainfall since October last year, it said.