China strives for swift summer grain reaping
Updated: 2008-06-09 09:30

The Ministry of Agriculture ordered to get every grain to granary as the persisting torrential rain hampers the critical yearly harvest in South China.

Local authorities were asked to pay high alert on the rare torrential rain and make efforts to prevent agriculture production from being influenced by the bad weather, the ministry said in an urgent notice on Sunday.

The latest forecast from the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said that the heavy rain, which is 30 to 70 percent more than the same period last year in general, is set to sweep most parts of South China in the coming 10 days.

The bad weather is expected to pose serious danger to the agriculture production considering its long spell and massive scale.

The protection efforts should focus on wheat and paddy rice, and the ripe vegetables and fruits should also be harvested as soon as possible, the ministry said.

Riverways and conduits should be cleared and drained promptly while reaping and farming equipment should go through safety check, it said.

In China, summer grain usually takes up about 23 percent of the nation's annual grain output.

"If no severe disastrous weather conditions develop, the unit production of the nation's summer grain harvest will hit a record high with the total output rising for a fifth consecutive year," Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai has said.

However, torrential rain began to haunt South China at the end of last month, confounding the harvesting efforts, The NMC on Saturday morning launched a level-three emergency response to cope with expected rainstorms in the southern provinces.

The deluge has killed at least 83 people since last month and damaged houses, crops, and industrial plants.

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