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Summer grain output to top 120m tons
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China's crop output is forecast to exceed 120 million tons this summer, 2.5 million tons more than a year ago, Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai said on Sunday.

Farmers harvest wheat at a villiage in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, on June 6, 2008. China's crop output is forecast to exceed 120 million tons this summer.[Asianewsphoto]

This would mark the fifth consecutive summer of bumper harvest for the first time since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Sun said during a countryside tour in Beijing.

Rapeseed output was expected to rise by more than 400,000 tons to 11.85 million tons, reversing a declining streak for three consecutive years.

In spite of major natural disasters and pest invasions, the harvest came as the government managed to arouse farmer enthusiasm for crops planting with a series of incentives, including direct subsidies, the minister noted.

The farm subsidies would this year soar 85 percent to 95.1 billion yuan ($13.8 billion), according to Sun.

Chinese authorities has since last year unveiled a series of measures to encourage crop planting, as soaring food prices were the major driver behind the country's consumer inflation.

Sun also warned against some negative factors, including more flooding, drought, typhoon, and pest invasions, to ensure a bumper autumn harvest.

Summer crops usually account for about 23 percent of the nation's annual grain output.

(Xinhua News Agency June 23, 2008)

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