China's agriculture sector withstands COVID-19 epidemic

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 29, 2020
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Aerial photo taken on April 26, 2020 shows farmers planting rice seedlings in fields in Huangniufeng Village of Shuangfeng County in Loudi, central China's Hunan Province. (Photo by Li Jianxin/Xinhua)

China's agriculture sector logged robust performance in the first quarter of the year despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, an official said in Beijing Tuesday.

Wei Baigang, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said at a press conference that the country recorded a 3.5 percent year-on-year increase in the added value of the country's planting industry and had sufficient daily food supplies.

China has favorable conditions to achieve a bumper summer grain harvest as the spring planting has proceeded smoothly, said Wei, noting that agriculture-related enterprises have all returned to their normal capacity.

The resumption of hog production has made headway, with the breeding sows in stock expanded by 9.8 percent from the end of 2019, he said.

The stable performance of the agricultural sector has provided strong support for China's epidemic control and overall development, Wei said, pledging efforts to ensure the country's annual grain output reach over 650 billion kg and restore the hog production to the normal level by the end of this year, he said.

Wei also noted that the pork prices have kept retreating for ten consecutive weeks, while the prices of other farm produce are back to pre-outbreak levels as the output recovers.

The country will also beef up targeted support to ensure the employment and increase incomes for people in need to mitigate the virus impacts, Wei said.

He suggested multi-pronged measures such as restoring rural tourism, creating jobs by implementing rural infrastructure projects, providing more financial support for people returning or moving to rural areas to set up businesses and offering more vocational training.

Sui Pengfei, another official with the ministry, also stressed at the press conference that in a special time like this, China will strive to secure domestic grain production and supply of farm produce to ensure global grain security.

Toward this end, China will enhance coordination with countries and international institutions, and support trade and south-south cooperation in the agricultural sector, said Sui.

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