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Vice Premier Urges Support for Summer Harvest

On Sunday, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu called on local governments to work harder to help farmers with their ongoing summer harvest.


Hui, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was on an inspection tour of east China's Shandong Province, a major grain producer.


More substantial efforts are required to further improve food production and increase the income of farmers, said Hui.


In northern China, where wheat is sown in the autumn and harvested in early summer, this season’s harvest is an important part of annual yields. In the south, where rice is the staple, crops reaped during June play a major role in stabilizing grain prices, often driven up by short supply in April and May.


According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 469.5 billion kg of grain was produced last year, an increase of 38.8 billion kg on the previous year.


This year, land sown with cereal crops is 667,000 hectares more than 2004, according to ministry officials, but a figure for how much more grain is expected to be produced is still not available.


Although grain production will show growth on last year, said Hui, there remains a gap between production and demand. He urged local governments to prioritize the summer harvest and step up efforts to regulate the grain market.


More investment should be made to develop agricultural production through the application of science and technology, said Hui.


He also urged government departments to build and improve irrigation facilities and make better preparations for farming and sowing.


(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2005)


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Cash Rewards to Boost Grain Production
Major Grain-producing Counties to Be Rewarded
Grain Self-sufficiency Still Key Challenge
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Stable Grain Prices Expected
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