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Agriculture fair draws thousands
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-12 23:40

A bonanza of top-grade farm produce drew thousands of visitors and buyers in Beijing.

From delicious crabs from East China's Jiangsu Province to pure honey from South China's Hainan Island, more than 3,200 varieties of food products from 971 firms turned the China National Agricultural Exhibition Centre into a virtual mega-market.

The Second China Ag Trade Fair, which formally opened yesterday, showcased agricultural products certified as contamination-free, green or organic as well as China's hallmark agricultural exports.

In his visit to the trade fair Tuesday, Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu said the annual event contributes to international agricultural exchanges by expanding farm produce trade while helping the sector embrace the market economy.

A total of 550 top-notch Chinese agricultural enterprises displayed their agricultural, aquatic, animal husbandry and farming machinery products at the trade fair, said Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin.

In addition, firms and trade associations from 13 foreign countries, including Australia, France, Ireland, Japan and the United States are participating.

The agricultural product and service suppliers will meet 9,000 domestic and 400 overseas retailers, including leading foreign-funded supermarkets in China, said ministry sources.

Kwok Ho, president of the Chaoda Modern Agriculture Ltd, which has booked 30 booths to display its 1,000 varieties of farm products, yesterday said his company clinched deals valued at 1 billion yuan (US$120 million) on the first day of the five-day fair.

Each Chaoda product has a unique ID, allowing buyers to easily trace where and how the product was produced, processed and transported, he said.

"The company is very much encouraged by the keen passion visitors and consumers have shown for the green and organic food Chaoda provides," he said.

Like Chaoda, several hundred of the country's leading agricultural firms on show at the trade fair have played a key role in modernizing and industrializing China's agriculture.

They have built production bases throughout the country, mobilized and trained farmers to become agricultural workers, and contributed to improving their skills, working conditions and income, said a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture.

This year's event followed the first international agricultural trade fair held last November in Beijing, in which suppliers and retailers clinched deals valued at 17 billion yuan (US$2 billion).

The Ministry of Agriculture had hoped to build up the annual trade event and provide a stage for the country's agricultural firms to display their achievements in highlighting food safety and quality, Vice-Minister Niu Dun said.

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