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Policies on Processing of Farm Products Unveiled
China Monday unveiled a series of new policies designed to boost the agricultural product processing industry as part of overall efforts to promote the rural economy and raise the income of farmers.

According to the policies issued by the General Office of the State Council, the development of the farm produce processing sector is essential. Improvement in the sector will increase farmers' income, improve the competitiveness of Chinese-made agricultural products on the international market and create more jobs for farmers.

Meanwhile, the standards of quality control for key agricultural products should be improved, and efforts should be made to increase the ratio of the added value of the agricultural product processing sector to the country's gross domestic product and to the added value of manufacturing sectors.

It gives priority to the refined, thorough processing of the country's key agricultural products, such as grain, cotton, oil-producing crops, animal products, including pork, beef, mutton, chicken and duck, dairy products, and vegetable and aquatic products.

The policies urge regional governments to formulate their own strategies for the agricultural product processing industry and call for the establishment of production centers for agricultural products as well as for the creation of a logistics support system.

In line with the policies, the Chinese government is expected to encourage research, the development of technology facilitating the processing of agricultural products and increase investment in infrastructure projects for the farm produce processing sector, including processing plants, related research and training programs.

The policies urge the country's state-owned commercial banks to provide the necessary loans for the sector, and offer, among other things, preferential tax policies for export-oriented thoroughly-processed agricultural products.

(Xinhua News Agency January 14, 2003)

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