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China's summer season grain output drops
( 2003-06-23 16:33) (Xinhua)

China's summer grain harvest is expected to fall to 95 billion kilogram, a drop of 3.5 billion kg from that of last year, the Xinhua Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Monday.

The output dive is mainly attributed to the shrinking of the country's crop acreage by 1.7 million hectares, the report quoted the Ministry of Agriculture as saying. However, it added that the per hectare output increased by 84 kg.

The ministry also said SARS had substantially affected the agricultural sector and the rural economy, featured by the decline of fresh farm produce prices and the consumption of livestock and aquatic products.

Meanwhile, measures to prevent the spread of SARS also reduced transportation, which resulted in the overstock of farm produce in rural areas.

The report said the further strengthening of technical trade barriers by some countries on the excuse of preventing SARS had affected exports of China's farm produce.

It added that the ministry was taking measures to help spur the growth of various agricultural sectors affected by SARS.

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