China is allocating billions of farm subsidies in advance to
support spring ploughing as part of its post-disaster
reconstruction efforts, Xinhua learnt from the Ministry of Finance
(MOF) on Thursday.
A total of 63.3 billion yuan (9.04 billion U.S. dollars) -- used
as direct agricultural goods and grain subsidies -- was allocated
in advance to disaster-hit provinces and autonomous regions on
China has pledged to speed its reconstruction in the farming
sector in effort to step up preparation for spring farm work and to
ensure farm products supply this year.
According to the MOF, the government is striving to give
preferential policies to the farming sector, those who plant grain
crops and industrial sectors that purchase agricultural equipment
will get direct subsidies on time.
This effort came closely after the announcement by Vice Premier
Hui Liangyu at a previous meeting. It was announced localities as
well as the central government should take effective measures to
reduce the negative impact of the snow disaster on agriculture.
Hui demanded local agricultural departments to earnestly
implement the state's preferential policies for farmers, including
supplying farmers and farm-related sectors with sufficient
Winter storms have reaped havoc on the country's central, south
and southwest since mid-January, leading to dead livestock and
serious economic loss.
"Vegetable selling will be severely impacted due to the bad
weather this spring," said Wei Chaoan, Agriculture Ministry deputy
minister, at a meeting held in Wuhan on Thursday.
Vegetable supply will in no way escape the impact of the deep
freeze, and the supply strain is expected to loom in some areas in
March, according to Wei.
(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2008)