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NE China to Play Bigger Role in Grain Supply

China's northeastern provinces, Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, are expected to play a bigger role in grain production, according to local scientists working on a government program on grain security.

The scientists, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have set up five field labs in the provinces, trying to find ways to ensure grain production under different geographic and climatic conditions.

In these field labs, which cover a total of over 467 hectares, the experts have developed 17 key techniques, bred 50 good species of grain, and trained more than 400,000 local farmers into technicians.

In related developments, local governments in the northeastern provinces are taking substantial steps to stabilize grain production.

To stabilize grain production in the northeast is of great importance to China, a country with almost 1.3 billion population, according to local government officials. Northeast China provinces are an important base of the country's commodity grain. The region with only four percent of the country's arable land produces one tenth of the national commodity grain.

Meanwhile, local governments are working hard to help local farmers increase their income.

Some local economists observed that local farmers will be encouraged to grow more grain because of the increasing market demands, government's favorable policies, and the application of new farming techniques.

(Xinhua 05/13/2001)

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