News 179 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Chinese farmers need to grow more grain

Although grain production has grown for the past three years in China, the government still has much to do to ensure a stable food supply and sound development of agriculture, according Sun Zhengcai, minister of agriculture.

Sun said the summer grain harvest has been solid so far. But the yield of summer grains only accounts for a quarter of the year's harvest. Furthermore, although autumn grains like rice grow reliably, a whole-year harvest may be challenged by poor weather, diseases, pests, as well as the rising cost of fertilizer and diesel oil.

Reduction of farm land
One of the most serious problems ahead is the trend of reductions in farmland acreage. By the end of 2006, the total area of farmland had been reduced to 1.827 billion mu (121.8 million hectares), 124 million mu less than was ten years ago.

More grain plantings
Sun said the government will do what it can to keep the country's farmland above the warning line of 1.8 billion mu and implement policies encouraging farmers to grow more grains. It will also help farmers reduce damages from natural disasters. Meanwhile, cultivation of soybeans, vegetables and oil crops should also be encouraged due to the rising demand of the society, said Sun. As an important industrial policy, the government plans to support cotton planting and set up a subsidy system to help farmers, in order to maintain the cotton-growing area over 80 million mu and lift the yield in advantageous areas.

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